BADP in Sikkim fails to create desired effect: CAG

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Gangtok, Mar 12 (UNI) The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report for 2006-07 has come down heavily on Sikkim government on the issue of implementation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Border Area Development Programme (BADP) at the border areas of the Himalayan state.

The programme here covered 17 blocks over a total area of 133.76 sq kms, spanning over 351 kms of the international borders of China (220 kms), Nepal (99 kms) and Bhutan (32 kms).

''The performance audit of BADP revealed that the state government had neither undertaken any study of the remote villages nor conducted any survey to ascertain the special needs of the people living in remote, inaccessible areas situated near the borders,'' the CAG report read.

Critical gaps in physical and social infrastructure were never assessed and long term perspective plan for each border block was not initiated for facilitating overall balanced development of the region, the report further states.

BADP was extended to Sikkim with effect from 1998-99 with initial allocation of Rs four crores with the twin objectives of balanced development of sensitive border areas and promotion of a sense of security amongst the local population.

Implementation of the schemes under the programme was characterised by unauthorised expenditure and violation of the guidelines as the schemes were implemented in the blocks which were neither along the international border nor approved by the Empowerment Committee, the report said.

The state government spent Rs 8.21 crores during 2002-07 on implementations of schemes which did not qualify for implementation under the programme, the report continued.

CAG concluded that the implementation of BADP in Sikkim 'failed to create the desired impact' despite availability of adequate funds. It has recommended that Gram panchayats should be involved, execution of works in authorised blocks should be avoided and monitoring mechanism should be avoided.

UNI BG LL AB 1224

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