With the floods in Assam claiming over 50 lives, affecting 17 lakh people and inundating 25 of the state’s 32 districts, a CAG report has found a 60 per cent shortfall in release of Central funds to the state for flood management schemes.
“Further, the state government also did not release 84 per cent of the allocated budget provision….that adversely affected implementation of schemes," said the CAG report 'Schemes for Flood Control and Flood Forecasting', tabled in Parliament on Friday.
Assam, along with Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Sikkim and Manipur are among States that saw inordinate delays in 48 flood management projects, the report noted.
During 2007-08 to 2015-16, the 141 flood management projects in Assam were to get ₹2,043.19 crore as Central share. However, only ₹812.22 crore Central funds were released, leading to a shortfall of ₹1,230.97 crore, said the CAG report.
The shortfall in Central funds release stood at 78 per cent for 10 projects in Arunachal, 42 per cent for 29 projects in UP, 28 per cent for three Jharkhand projects and 8 per cent each in Manipur and Sikkim.
The Centre also failed to recover ₹600.92 crore as loans from eight states, with interest of ₹18.30 crore for not releasing Central aid to projects within the stipulated 15 days, the report said.
Flood forecasting, a crucial tool for flood management, was also found wanting. The report noted that only 56 telemetry stations had been installed as of August 2016, against the 12th Plan target of 219 telemetry stations, 310 base stations and 100 flood forecasting stations.
In Tamil Nadu, no flood forecasting station has been set up so far despite a plan prepared for setting up 41 such stations in July 2016, as tenders had not been finalised.
In addition, scrutiny of records revealed that out of 375 telemetry stations set up in the country to record real time data, 222 were non-operational for reasons such as theft of equipment and dismantling due to inadequate security.
Of the 17 states/union territories scrutinised, “only Bihar and Odisha have prepared Frequency-based Flood Inundation Maps for the flood affected areas,” the CAG report noted.