|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Bihar: CAG spots irregularities in flood relief
March 24, 2006 22:58 IST
Last Updated: March 25, 2006 00:30 IST
Comptroller and Auditor General of India has detected serious irregularities in carrying out relief operations among flood-hit people in 20 districts of Bihar in 2004-05.
In its latest report for the year ended March 31, 2005, presented to the two houses of Bihar legislature on Friday, the CAG said audit scrutiny of expenditure on foodgrains (Rs 37.4 crore) and cash dole (Rs 44.59 crore) revealed delay in distribution, doubtful purchase of material, doubtful distribution of foodgrain and non-submission of detailed contingent bills of payment of cash dole.
Of the Rs 132.4 crore provided by the Disaster Management Department, the district magistrates, who were overall in charge of flood relief operations in their districts, drew Rs 117.68 crore on Abstract Contingent bills and spent Rs 96.81 crore.
The report said that the district magistrates submitted utilisation certificates of Rs 81.94 crore to the DMD without submitting the vouchers to the accountant general. Rs 10.77 crore advanced to staff for relief work was booked as expenditure without receipt of adjustment vouchers.
"Foodgrains worth Rs 4.85 crore and cash dole of Rs 9.84 crore were distributed after relief period, thereby defeating the objective of providing immediate relief," the CAG said, adding that the stock of foodgrain and relief material were not maintained at district and circle levels.
"As a result authenticity of distribution of 7.57 lakh quintal of foodgrains valued at Rs 36.96 crore reflected in Form IX could not be verified," it noted.
The CAG said that though Patna was not among flood-affected districts, the disaster management department allotted Rs 13.5 crore to the district magistrate, who was not notified as nodal officer for relief operations. "Audit of relief operations conducted by DM, Patna, reflected failure of internal control mechanism at secretariat as well a district level," the report said, adding that the DM failed to submit detailed contingent bills of Rs 13.34 crore drawn on abstract contingent bills.
The then Patna DM Gautam Goswami is already in judicial custody for his role in the flood relief scam. Referring to flood control measures, the CAG said the water resource department mainly executed anti-erosion works and plan allocations for construction of new embankments, raising and strengthening of existing embankments and construction of all weather roads on embankments were curtailed.
No fresh embankments were constructed as against target of 36km, the CAG said, adding avoidable expenditure of Rs 6.26 crore was incurred due to delay in execution of work and finalisation of tenders. The CAG also expressed dissatisfaction over implementation of acts and rules relating to consumer protection.
It revealed that there was only one notified laboratory in the state, which received no samples for analysis. "Consumer awareness programme suffered as consumer protection councils were not established and district consumer information centres were not set up in the state," it noted, adding as of June 2005, 15,599 complaints were pending in the state commission and district forums.
The CAG also detected misappropriation of funds amounting to Rs 12.18 crore in the water resources department, rural development department, road construction and primary, secondary and adult education department.
There were violation of contractual obligations and undue favour to contractors amounting to 2.65 crore in the road construction department, it said. Misutilisation of funds amounting to Rs 9.71 crore was noticed in rural development department, revenue and land reforms department, urban development department and labour, employment and training department.