The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has exposed the Mizoram government's wasteful expenditure of Rs. 15.09 crore on the installation of a cable-car or rope-way in Aizawl, according to a report put forward by Chief Minister Zoramthanga in the assembly on February 16.
The CAG report stated that the Union Ministry of Tourism had granted the expenditure sanction of Rs. 99.07 crore in March 2017 for the development of eco-adventure circuits in Aizawl and Mamit town, to be completed and commissioned within 30 months.
The state government had appointed a consultant for the project in 2017, and incurred payment of Rs. 2.97 crore for the same.
The report further revealed that the Mizoram Tourism Development Agency (MTDA) had incurred an expenditure of Rs. 15.09 crore towards payment to contractors for the installation of the cable car from Durtlang to Chaltlang in Aizawl during the period September 2019 to November 2018.
Earlier on February 17, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) observed that there is a need to investigate into “avoidable” expenditure of Rs 5.3 crore incurred by the Mizoram health and family welfare department.
The CAG report tabled in the assembly by Chief Minister Zoramthanga on February 16 said that the Directorate of Hospital and Medical Education (DHME) had entered into a memorandum of understanding with Intergen Energy Limited (IGEL) in 2012 for the installation of renewable energy and water treatment plants at nine hospitals based on suo-motu proposals submitted by the Delhi-based firm.
According to records of the DHME, water treatment plants were installed by the firm in five hospitals at a total cost of Rs 50 lakh and payments were made to the entity between March 2012 and February 2014.
The private entity provided water to four hospitals for a short duration, ranging from four months to two years, and failed to supply water to a hospital even though the MoU stated that the company will ensure an uninterrupted water supply suitable for drinking for a period of 10 years after installations, the CAG said in its report.
In spite of the penalty provision in the agreement, the health department did not take steps against the IGEL and instead, entered into another pact in June 2019, the auditor said.
According to the new agreement, the previous MoU was terminated and the DHME would purchase the system or equipment installed in the five hospitals at the cost of Rs 9 crore in three instalments. The DHME paid Rs 4.80 crore (Rs 3 crore in July 2019 and Rs 1.8 crore in December 2020) as the first and second instalments, the CAG report claimed. However, treated water was not supplied to the five health facilities, including Aizawl hospital and the state referral hospital at Falkawn near the state capital, since May 2020, after signing the buy-back agreement, it said.
The CAG also observed that all the hospitals were getting water supplied on priority by the state public health engineering department and there was "no insufficiency" in the supply of water to the hospitals before or during the period of MoU with IGEL.
The auditor said that the “expenses totalling Rs 5.3 crore incurred on the installation of water treatment plants and buy-back agreement was avoidable as there was no water scarcity in the hospitals prior to the signing of the agreements”.
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