Mumbai, Mar 29 (PTI) Apex auditor CAG has said some works related to repairs and maintenance of state highways in Maharashtra were awarded in violation of the government norms and also flagged the issue of unpaid bills of contractors. Also Read - Mumbai Police Does It Again, Posts a Mind-Boggling Puzzle and Wants You to 'Crack That Code'
In a report, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said repairs and maintenance works were split into many parts and awarded to single bidders. Also Read - CBI to Now Need Maharashtra Government's Permission Before Investigating Cases in State
The CAG report, tabled in both Houses of the state Legislature yesterday, revealed that as against 15,674 works planned, only 14,641 works (93 per cent) were completed by the year ended March 2017. Also Read - Former Maharashtra Minister Eknath Khadse Quits BJP, to Join NCP on Friday
“The repairs and maintenance norms were outdated and needed revisions. The annual repair programmes taken up by the (PWD) department were not commensurate with the funds released by the government, thereby creating huge financial liability towards unpaid bills,” it stated.
The overall pendency of bills as on March 2017 was Rs 368.35 crore whereas dues amounting to Rs 110.73 crore were pending for more than two years in contravention of Central Vigilance Commission guidelines which stipulate that payment of contractors’ bills should not be delayed, the CAG said.
“There were instances of execution of works approved in one group and executed from another group. Works were split into many parts and awarded to single bidders, labour co- operative societies and unemployed engineers, contrary to the government instructions,” it stated.
There were instances of execution of works in defect liability period from other works, resulting in avoidable excess expenditure and drainage works were not executed as per original estimates, it stated.
The liability period refers to duration in which the contractor is responsible for repairing or rectifying defects that appear in the works.
The CAG stated that the internal control mechanism was weak as the bills were paid without ensuring the mandatory quality control test results.
The Central agency has recommended that the annual repair programme be prepared keeping in mind the priority of works and it should be commensurate with available budget so that the liability towards unpaid bills is minimised.
It asked the government to ensure there is no diversion of funds and suggested strengthening the monitoring of works at the field level.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.