The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has criticised the state government's Narmada, Water Resources, Water Supply and Kalpsar department for the Rs 97 crore worth of irrigation projects that have remained incomplete for as long as 14 years, depriving irrigation to 53 villages in Gujarat.
"Twelve works taken up for execution between January 1996 and March 2011 remained incomplete as on March 2013," stated CAG in it's report on state's Economic Sector that was tabled in the Gujarat Assembly on Friday.
The main reason cited for this non-completion was "award of works before acquisition of required land or not obtaining prior permission from concerned authorities for acquisition of forest land or non-expediting the land acquisition process with the Revenue Department."
Thus the projects, intended to provide irrigation facilities to 13,405 hectares of land of 53 villages remained incomplete even after a delay that ranged between one to 14 years (as on May 2013), the auditor stated. These irrigation projects were in Junagadh, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Porbandar, Panchmahal and Valsad districts.
The oldest of pending projects mentioned by CAG is the Koliyari Water Resources Project, Panchmahal and the Bhakharvad Recharging Reservoir Scheme, Junagadh for which state government had accorded administrative approval way back in June 1994 and January 1998 respectively.
"In both the projects, the Project Affected People (PAP) were not willing to move to rehabilitation sites," the report observed adding that matter still remains unresolved after so many years.
CAG has recommended to the state government to "revamp its monitoring mechanism" and ensure that concerned divisions take timely action to ensure timely completion of projects.