CAG censures School Education Department for slow pace of work
Srinagar: The School Education Department (SED) has failed to complete the restoration work of the damaged infrastructure despite the passage of six years, a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said.
The CAG report censured the SED for the slow pace in the execution of works taken up by the department.
It said that around 718 repair and renovation works relating to the permanent restoration of damaged infrastructure in SED were identified in December 2016 for execution at an estimated cost of Rs 107.61 crore.
“Of this, 536 works were completed by the department till September 2020,” the CAG said.
It said that 99 works were under progress at Rs 30.53 crore while 83 works were not taken up for execution till September 2020.
“Against a total of Rs 100.22 crore under the project, Rs 66.14 crore were utilised by the department during the period from 2016-17 to 2020-21 September 2020,” the CAG said.
As per the CAG report, the department has attributed the delay in the completion of works to the climatic considerations and unrest that prevailed in the past.
“The fact remains that the works were identified in December 2016 and are still incomplete,” the CAG said.
The CAG said that till September 2020 around 83 works at an estimated cost of Rs 7.72 crore could not be taken up due to various issues.
The department faced land disputes in 12 works, insufficient funds in 22 works while the shifting and clubbing of school buildings also resulted in the delay of seven projects.
“Frequent change of executing agencies resulted in five projects remaining incomplete while 37 projects have not been taken up as per the reconstruction plan,” the CAG said.
It reveals that the Joint Director of Planning has said that the engineering wing created in June 2017 took some time to set up with the required manpower which delayed the execution of works.
The department has also said that substantial progress had been achieved in accomplishing the target and delay had also been caused due to climatic conditions and unrest which prevailed for some time in the past.
“The reply is not tenable as 83 works which were originally identified in December 2016 for execution and restoration could not be taken up,” the CAG said.
It said that the audit examination of records revealed that Bank Guarantees (BGs) of seven works equivalent to Rs 11.01 lakh which had expired between February 25, 2018, and February 14, 2019, were not revalidated before their expiry date.
The Joint Director Planning, as per the CAG, attributed the delay in revalidation to the lack of manpower in the newly-established construction divisions.
“The Joint Director claimed that the concerned executive engineers had been asked to get the BGs revalidated immediately, wherever pending,” the CAG said.