Shillong, may 13: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has criticised the Meghalaya government for its failure to provide safe drinking water to the people under various schemes.
''The objectives of the schemes remained largely unachieved because of significant shortfall (53 and 45 per cent) in providing safe drinking water to the identified habitations during 2002-2007,'' the CAG report stated.
Moreover, the Public Health and Engineering (PHE) department failed to utilise 18 to 46 per cent of funds available during 2002-05 and 2006-07 under the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme, the report added.
The objectives of the Prime Minister's Programme were also defeated because of failure in utilisation of the available funds during 2003-07.
Expenditure of Rs 12.56 crore incurred on 34 water supply schemes till March 2007 had become unproductive as these schemes remained incomplete for a period ranging from one to two years.
There was time overrun of one to five years in the completion of 37 water supply schemes, resulting in cost overrun of Rs 87.01 lakh.
The PHE department also incurred wasteful expenditure of Rs 67.38 lakh due to taking up of the work of the Lyngkyrdem Combined Water Supply Scheme without ensuring the source of water.
''There was idle investment of Rs 1.70 crore due to procurement of material without arranging the source of water and site for execution of work,'' the CAG report stated.
However, the CAG stated that with respect to financial position, the state showed a significant improvement as it had been able to maintain revenue and primary surpluses and reduce fiscal deficit during 2005-07.
A steep increase in Central transfers to state, comprising tax transfers and grants-in-aid, had provided a cushion in revenue account, which helped the state government increase revenue surplus and contain fiscal deficit well within three per cent, the report added.