CAG finds fault with Goa Govt in Tilari irrigation project

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Panaji, Aug 20 (UNI) The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled the Goa government for ''inordinate delay and inadequate funding'' of the Tilari inter-state irrigation project leading to huge cost overruns and suggested it to complete the project by 2009 as envisaged.

The report for the year ended March 31, 2007, was submitted by chief minister Digamber Kamat in the state legislative assembly yesterday.

In the report, the CAG said the cost of the project, commenced in 1986 to irrigate 16,978 hectares of land by 1995-96, was at an initial expenditure of Rs 509.31 crore. It went up to a whopping Rs 952.54 crore in 2003.

This huge cost overrun of Rs 537.79 crore was due to delay in its execution and inadequate funding and decision making on mid-term assessment of the project, it noted.

It also noted about the shrinkage of the command area. The area was reduced to 1,695 hectares from earlier 14,521. So, construction of a conduit canal at a cost of Rs 51.44 crore was uneconomical. The area is further likely to go down due to increased habitation in Calangute area.

The report also expressed concern that the irrigation potential could not be utilised fully as the command area works were delayed.

As against 57.3 million cubic metres per year, drinking water envisaged in the project, water drawn and utilised was mere five million cubic metres during 2003-07 despite the availability of water, the report said.

The report asked the government to ensure financial committment and its timely release for completion of the project by 2009 as envisaged.

It also recommended completion of command area development works in a time bound manner to avail full benefits of the project.

The government should also ensure optimum utilisation of available drinking water under the project, the report added.

UNI BM SSS SY DS1357

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