The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that the total cost overrun of 84 Major and Medium Irrigation (MMI) projects under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) was Rs 1,20,772.05 crore, which was 295 per cent of their original cost.
The report tabled before the Lok Sabha on Tuesday said the implementation of projects under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) was "tardy" and monitoring by central and state agencies was "lax".
The delays were attributed to shortfall in land acquisition, inability to obtain statutory clearances in advance, changes in design and scope of work.
The report noted that the delays in the implementation of projects, together with inefficient works management, led to the cost overrun.
"The total cost overrun in 84 MMI projects, including 16 completed and 68 ongoing projects, was 1,20,772.05 crore which was 295 per cent of their original cost," it said.
The realisation of envisaged benefits in terms of Irrigation Potential (IP) creation was only 68 per cent in MMI projects and 39 per cent in Minor Irrigation schemes.
"The utilisation of IP created was 65 per cent and 72 per cent respectively for MMI projects and MI schemes. There were deficiencies in works management such as delays in award of work, splitting of works, incorrect phasing of project implementation, execution of sub-standard work, undue benefits to contractors," it said.
The extra financial implications seen in audit were to the extent of Rs 1,337.81 crore towards irregular/wasteful/avoidable/extra expenditure and Rs 303.36 crore due to "undue favour" to the contractor, the report observed.
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