CAG pulls up tourism dept for Rs 2.46 cr idle investment

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Panaji, Aug 21 (UNI) The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has pulled up the Goa Tourism Department for ''idle investment'' of Rs 2.46 crore in the development and beautification work of the Mala Lake in the capital city.

The CAG had also found fault with the Town and Country Planning Department for ''idle investment'' of Rs 1.94 crore for the construction of Mala Market Complex.

According to the CAG report for the year ending March 31, 2007, submitted to the Goa Legislative Assembly by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat during the ongoing budget session, the North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) is responsible for the poor project planning, resulting in delayed execution of the market work and consequent idle investment on incomplete work for over two years.

The lake beautification and development project, to be implemented in two phases, was undertaken by the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) as part of tourism infrastructure development in January 2003. The government had released Rs 3 crore annual grant in 2002-03 for the work.

It envisaged cleaning of existing filthy area, construction of proper drainage, approach roads, sewage systems, development of the lake and surrounding areas for recreational activities.

The work of beautification and recreational facilities under phase two could not be taken up for want of necessary government approval though work under Phase one was completed in May 2005 at a cost of Rs 2.46 crore.

''Indecision of the government in taking up Phase two of the project has resulted in infrastructure created at a cost of Rs 2.46 crore remain idle for two years,'' the CAG noted.

Initially, the government had directed the GSIDC to handover phase two work to the NGPDA in March 2006, but the latter expressed its inability to undertake the task due to financial constraints and non-availability of staff and machinery.

But yet, the government had failed to take appropriate decision to facilitate completion of the phase two works as envisaged, resulting in idling away of the infrastructure created under Phase one, the report pointed out.

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