CAG detects financial anomalies in PWD project
Kohima, Feb. 18 (EMN): The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India in its report for the for the year ended March 31, 2018, has detected excess payment of INR 15.60 crore on ‘improvement of Mokokchung National Highway-155/NH-202 junction to Aghunato via Longsa-Suruhoto Road in Nagaland-88 km’, under the supervision of Public Works Department (Road and Bridges), Nagaland.
According to the CAG report on economic sector, an improvement of 88 km road from Mokokchung (National Highway-155/NH-202) junction to Aghunato via Longsa-Suruhoto road in Nagaland was estimated at INR 158.31 crore. The project was sanctioned in November 2012, by the North Eastern Council (NEC) with a timeline for completion of the project by March 2016.
The project (INR 158.31 crore) was awarded (December 2012) to M/s MS Panesar and Sons, Dimapur, as per the CAG report.
The examination of records revealed that NEC has released its share of INR 133 crore to the state of Nagaland.
The state government also released its share of INR 13.11 crore to the EE, Atoizu division. The work was reported as complete in January 2018 and the contractor was paid INR 146.11 crore through eight running account bills,s leaving unpaid amount of INR 12.20 crore, according to the report.
However, a joint inspection in September 2018 revealed that out of 88 km, the contractor had executed improvement works only in 65 km. The contractor did not execute works for INR 15.60 crore; whereas, the contractor was paid for execution of all items of work, which resulted in excess payment of INR 15.60 crore without actual execution of five items of works.
The government while accepting (December 2018) the facts, stated that additional items like river retaining works, protection works were carried out which were not included in the DPR.
However, the report stated that the reply was not acceptable since the excess amount of INR 15.60 crore was paid to the contractor for the works not executed and there were no records/ documents relating to the additional works carried out, as claimed by the government.
The CAG, in its recommendation, stated that the recovery of INR 15.60 crore may be made from the contractor for unexecuted items of works apart from fixing of responsibility of officials at fault for facilitating payment without actual execution of various item of work.