No more PPP model for Metro: CM CAG report indicts state for irrigation irregularities
Govt to look into feasibility of comprehensive transport system for Mumbai Metropolitan Region on the lines of Delhi Metro, says Chavan
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, on Saturday, categorically stated in the legislature that henceforth metro projects in state would not be based on the PPP model like the Reliance Metro. He admitted that the government had committed many mistakes on the Versova- Andheri- Ghatkopar, which is a PPP model. The government was looking at different financial models like CIDCO and MMRDA, he added.
He also informed the house that he would ask those studying the metro/ transport system to look for a feasible mass rapid transport system that would connect the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region ( MMR). The study would include various means of transport that can plausibly link the region.
The CM made this remark as a passing reference after demands for better connectivity through mass rapid transport system in the MMR came up during the discussion on the Thane metro. Nawab Malik, NCP MLA, said: “We should have something similar to the Delhi Metro in the NCR region that covers three states without any problem. There is no reason why there should be any difficulty in that.”
To this the CM said: “We are looking at a comprehensive transparent system. A study is going on; we will tell them to think in these lines too wherein a mass rapid transport system like the metro and the BRTS connects each of the regions.”
The Thane metro — WadalaGhatkopar- Teen Haath Naka ( Thane)- Kasarwadavli — will be looking to connect different regions. A study report on it is expected in a month’s time. It will be around 32km long and have 29 stations, and is expected to cost Rs22,000 crore.
Sena MLAs then demanded an explicit date on which this metro would start operating and even staged a walkout over this.
“A date cannot be given as it would take another month for the study to be over. The government will be able to take a decision within two months after that, said Chavan. A report by the CAG has indicted the state for large- scale irregularities.
The irregularities detected by the CAG include cost overruns of Rs47,427.10 crore in 363 of the 601 ongoing irrigation projects, frequent changes in the Vishnupuri major irrigation project, initially approved in May 1979 at a cost of Rs32.24 crore, being hampered by frequent changes in scope of work leading to time overruns and costs rising by a massive Rs2,419.76 crore and land not being acquired before commencement of works. Mobilisation advance of Rs478.95 crore being granted to contractors in violation of the contract conditions, weak monitoring and internal controls in the water resources department and estimates not being prepared in suffi cient detail and extra items worth Rs28.53 crore being illegally sanctioned to contractors, also fi nd a mention.
Maharashtra is a waterstressed state and vagaries of the monsoon cause droughts. However, only 67.36% of the irrigation potential created was utilised due to inadequate maintenance of dams and canals, silting and ineffi ciencies, said the report.
“Projects were taken up without proper surveys, environment and forest clearances, ac- quisition of requisite land and non- rehabilitation of project- affected persons ( and) as a result, there was enormous increase in the cost of the projects and delays in their completion as well,” the report said.
Moreover, of the 601 ongoing projects with an estimated balance cost of Rs82,609.64 crore, 225 were under execution for over 15 years, of which, 77 were under execution for over 30 years. The CAG report on the revenue sector of the state has slammed the state police for not recovering the dues from IPL authorities for the security provided on 15 occasions during matches in 2010 and 2011. As per the report, the state police have not recovered Rs4.39 crore despite two to three years going by.
“The monitoring and internal controls in the water resources department were weak… the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority also failed to perform its role as a regulator…,” the report added.
Shockingly, “at the end of March 2013, there were 348 dams ( 29.72%) which were not inspected for more than 10 years,” the report revealed, adding that the Dam Safety Organisation did not follow the criteria for selection of dams for test inspections.
CM Prithviraj Chavan leaves the Vidhan Bhavan on Saturday