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

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Dna cor­re­spon­dent @ dna Dhaval Kulka­rni @ dhavalkulka­rni

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.

— Hemant Padalkar/ dna

CM Prithvi­raj Cha­van leaves the Vid­han Bha­van on Satur­day

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