Only 45 per cent work completed in Nagaland Police Engineering Project despite spending Rs 417.43 cr in excess: CAG report

Kohima: Parade Square and Firing Range not constructed in any of five Battalions

BY | Wednesday, 20 September, 2023

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India’s, in its ‘Social, Economic, General and Revenue Sector for the year ended 31 March 2022’ report, has revealed that only 45 percent of work in five projects under the Nagaland Police Engineering Project (PEP) was completed despite of the department spending Rs 809.89 crore, since inception of the projects from 2006. It also exposed that the department had incurred expenditure of Rs 417.43 crore, 106 per cent in excess of the approved cost projected in the Detailed Project Reports (DPR), which is Rs 392.46 crore.

The five projects included construction of residential, non-residential and other developmental works in 10th IR Battalion, Zhadima; 11th IRB, Aboi; 12th IRB, Chingtok; 13th IRB, Yajang; 14th IRB, Okhezung.

The CAG report mentioned that as per the approved DPRs, 2,585 items of work were to be executed, however only 1,174 items of works were completed despite receiving a total amount of Rs 883.56 crore (including Rs 465.88 crore released prior to release of (Special Assistance 2018-19 and 2020-21) for construction works of these five battalions. It was further observed that out of Rs 347.68 crore released to PEP in 2018-19 and 2020-21 under SA, only 148 items of works for Rs 14.94 crore were taken up which also remained incomplete. The remaining fund of Rs 332.74 crore was utilised for clearing past liabilities of the Departments for which the State Government also did not obtain prior approval.

Parade Square and Field Firing Range not constructed

CAG reported that Parade Square and Firing Range, which were essential component of works of included in Other Developmental Works (ODWs) of the DPR of all the five Battalions were not constructed.

Further, in 11th IRB Headquarters, the specifications of the Firing Range were compromised, as a 64-meter Range was constructed in place of the approved 300 meters, rendering it inadequate for training the personnel, it stated.

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According to the report, the fund meant for these constructions was utilised for clearing liabilities based on escalated cost of works already done, resulting in non-execution and short execution of the works on construction of Parade Ground and Firing Range to the tune of Rs 9.03 crore.

Quarter Guard

Further, the report said that Quarter Guard was constructed in all the five battalion headquarters, however, the Quarter Guard at 10th IRB Zhadima (Rs 56.38 lakh) in 2008 was depleted and a new Quarter Guard was approved (2017) to be constructed at a cost of Rs 1.67 crore. Work orders were issued (December 2017) for construction of Quarter Guard including site development, water supply and sanitation, provision of protection Audit Report for the year ended 31 March 2022 wall and compound pavement for Rs 1.24 crore, to be completed within 24 months from the date of issue of the work order.

CAG also stated that examination of Running Account (RA) bills revealed that Rs 1.04 crore (84 per cent) was drawn in five bills for payment to the contractor for works at 10th IRB Zhadima despite several deficiencies such as total area of the building constructed was 5,084 sq. ft against the approved estimate of 5,154 sq. ft; the Strong Room was unusable for storing ammunitions and explosives due to underground water seepage; fencing and watch tower for security personnel not constructed, etc.

The Government of Nagaland has not provided a reply on any of the mentioned issues, CAG stated and recommended that the essential infrastructure of Battalion Headquarters need to be constructed as per the approved DPR in consultation with the user Department (Battalion Headquarters).

Furthermore, it stated that the PEP Department had made payments to contractors at higher item rate basis without obtaining State Government approval resulting in excess payment of Rs 562.22 crore over the approved cost. CAG recommended that such payments made at higher rates not approved by the SLPIC and without actual completion of the items of work as per DPRs needs to be recovered.

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