‘State lost ₹821.86 cr Central assistance under AIBP’

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on February 18, 2020

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said due to non-adherence to prescribed guidelines of Accelerated Irrigation Benefit programme (AIBP) Karnataka got deprived of Central assistance to the tune of ₹821.86 crore.

The deprival of Central assistance is due to to non furnishing of annual audited certificates and achieving committed physical targets. The State government had to bear this deficit by rising funds from external sources, said Anup Francis Dungdung, Accountant General Karnataka.

CAG in its performance audit on Public Sector Undertakings, which was tabled at Karnataka Legislative Assembly, said AIBP scheme was implemented in the state by two companies – Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Limited (KBJNL) and Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited (KNNL).

Anup Francis explained Performance audit was conducted to assess whether the State government and the implementing agencies – KBJNL/KNNL were able to leverage the benefits of the AIBP scheme to expedite the completion of the project including field irrigation channels (FICs) and realise the ultimate irrigation potential so as to cater to the water needs of the farmers in the state including drought prone areas.

Of the total of 79838 hectares due for creation of irrigation potential (dry) as per the committed time frame, the companies could create only 55,516 hectares during the last five years (2013-18) and irrigation potential pending creation as at end of march 2018 was 24,322 hectares.

According to Anup Francis, the envisaged FICs were also not fully completed in any of the six test-checked projects even after the lapse of two to 18 years, after their original scheduled dates of completion as there were lapses in planning and execution of the works in synchronisation with the irrigation potential already created.

“Out of the total 1,71,166 hectares of FICs due for creation, a total of 1,18412 hectares of FICs were created during 2013-18. the balance FICs pending creation was 52,754 hectares which included 28,432 hectares for which irrigation potential had already been created. As a result, which some parts of the drought prone districts of central and north karnataka have been provided with irrigation facilities, other parts are yet to receive water,” he added.

Audit also observed in the absence of formation of state level monitoring committee, no concurrent evaluation of the projects was done. “While there was monitoring by the Central Water Commission (CWC), the mechanism of providing compliance to their observations was not optimal,” he said.

Published on February 18, 2020

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