The main objectives of the scheme could not be achieved owing to lack of planning, noted CAG
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has spotted shortcomings for development of Rajasthan’s Dang Area which is characterised by ravines, gorges and infested with dacoits.
The CAG report
on local bodies said that Dang Area Development Scheme was introduced in December 2005. The scheme was being implemented in eight districts of two zones in Rajasthan and included 371 Gram Panchayats of 22 Panchayat Samitis of these districts.
“The objectives of the Dang Area Development Scheme were socio-economic and basic infrastructural development which included provision of facilities like drinking water, road connectivity, buildings for educational institutions, dispensaries, veterinary hospitals, libraries, public toilets, harvesting structures and other projects for livelihood activities.
“Audit revealed that in test checked districts 94.20 percent works sanctioned only for construction of rural internal roads. The main objectives of the scheme to achieve development in socio- economic and basic infrastructural areas could not be achieved owing to lack of planning as the scheme did not cover other areas,” said the CAG report.
It added: “Cases of work with lower specifications, fictitious payments, work not executed as per specifications, damaged roads, non-recovery from the executing agencies were noticed. Lack of adequate monitoring, evaluation and Social Audit led to the deficiencies not being identified.”
The report also noted non-utilisation of financial assistance of Rs 7.78 crore released for construction of dwelling units under Chief Minister Rural BPL Awaas Yojana
“In Panchayat Samiti, Nokha, 51 tube wells constructed at a cost of Rs 2.10 crore could not be put to use due to non-installation of submersible pump and no provision for electric connection, defeating the objective of supply of drinking water in rural areas. Imprudent decision of engaging contractor for work of construction of meeting hall in Panchayat Samiti, Degana led to the work being incomplete, thereby rendering expenditure of Rs 26.09 lakh unfruitful.”
CAG observed irregular expenditure of Rs 1.66 crore on execution of inadmissible works in Panchayati Raj Institutions, out of grants under State Finance Commission.
It went on to say that the Member of Legislative Assembly Local Area Development Scheme was introduced by the government of Rajasthan in 1999-2000 to carry out works of developmental nature for public use based on locally felt needs so as to promote balanced regional development.
“The utilisation of funds under the scheme was very low and ranged between 17.60 percent and 23.73 percent of the available funds. Huge unspent funds of Rs 1,093.11 crore (60.73 percent of amount allotted during 2011-16) were accumulated in the Personal Deposit Accounts of the Zila Parishads at the end of March 2016.”
The report added that many works were sanctioned/executed in violation of the Member of Legislative Assembly Local Area Development Scheme guidelines. Roads were constructed in violation of Gramin Karya Nirdeshika provisions resulting in damage of these roads. In numerous cases payments were fictitiously made for works which were either not executed or executed without adhering specifications of Gramin Karya Nirdeshika. The monitoring mechanism was not adequate as the state government did not form district/state level monitoring committees for effective monitoring of Member of Legislative Assembly Local Area Development Scheme.