Condom vending machines missing, not functional finds CAG

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10,000 condom machines missing: Report
New Delhi, Sept 7: After a slew of scams making it to the headlines, a new scam seems to have hit the government; the Condom scam. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has rapped the Union Health ministry for investing Rs 21 crore in the installation of the Condom Vending Machines (CVMs), out of which 10,000 were found to be missing.

CAG in its report, in the Parliment on Friday, has said that 22,000 CVM machines were installed, out of which 10,000 were missing and other were not functioning. CAG took NACO to task for failing to achieve the easy accessibility of condom in high risk areas, due to poor planning and implementation.

The report said: "The Health Ministry did not take any feasilibilty study for it considering the sale of condoms was very low and didnt even manage to touch the expectations that NACO had projected."

The report also highlighted the fact that in the Phase I of its launch, 11,025 CVMs were installed in high risk areas out of which 9, 860 were either lost or untraceable. Some machines were traceable but they were not working. None of the machines were insured against theft or damage, hence no money claim can be made.

Even in Phase II, 1546 machines were damaged, 161 were stolen and 1791 could not be installed.

Report: Many machines damaged, missing and not installed

The main aim of easy accessibility of condoms in high risk areas failed to take off even though a huge amount of money was invested, the CAG report said. "Even the sale of condoms remained very low in comparison to the numbers projected by NACO," the report said.

However, 16 million pieces of condom were dispensed through 11025 CVMs of Phase I during 36 months till January 2009.

The Phase II could not produce any better results and finally NACO decided to discontinue the project in 2011 due to opeartional hurdles. The report even said that though the machines can function uptil seven years, with poor maintaince and service, they could not sustain them fopr a long time.

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