` 97,000cr re­quired to com­plete 515 ir­ri­ga­tion projects: CAG re­port

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Ke­taki Ghoge ke­taki.ghoge@hin­dus­tan­times.com

As Ma­ha­rash­tra bat­tles one of its worst droughts in re­cent his­tory, the Comptroller and Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s ( CAG) re­port on the state’s fi­nances for March 2015 throws light on how poorly man­aged ir­ri­ga­tion projects across the state may be adding to the mess, while paint­ing a sorry pic­ture of pub­lic fi­nances.

The amount the govern­ment needs to com­plete its on­go­ing ir­ri­ga­tion projects — 515 of them in all — now stands at Rs97,101 crore. Of th­ese, 85 have been pend­ing for more than three decades, and 247 for more than 15 years, the re­port said.

The cost over­runs tax­pay­ers have to fork out for such de­lays and cor­rup­tion in nearly 401 ir­ri­ga­tion projects works out to Rs44,061 crore.

Tech­ni­cally, even if half of th­ese projects were planned and ex­e­cuted well, the im­pact of the cur­rent drought could have been halved. Even with high­est num­ber of ir­ri­ga­tion projects in the country, the state has cre­ated ir­ri­ga­tion far be­low the na­tional av­er­age, at just 18%.

CON­TIN­UED ON P12

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