CAG report reveals embezzlement of funds to procure clothes, cleaning Srinagar

TNN Bureau. Updated: 10/12/2017 1:40:27 PM Jammu and Kashmir

An amount of Rs 1.42 crore was allegedly embezzled while Rs 12.60 crore remained undistributed from the funds sanctioned by the authorities to pay gratuitous relief to families whose houses were either washed away or inundated for more than a week or fully damaged during 2014 devastating floods in this summer capital, a Comptroller and Auditor General report said. The Audit said an amount of Rs 1.66 crore was embezzled from the funds given to Srinagar Municipal Corporation and four PWD (Roads and Buildings) divisions of Srinagar to collection of garbage and its disposal in this summer capital.

The Audit further found that Rs 12.29 lakh was misappropriated from the money given to procure blankets while nearly 25 per cent of the 20,435 tents brought at a cost of Rs 2.84 crore were lying unutilised. “At least 536 tents valuing Rs 34.04 lakh had gone missing during transit from Srinagar, Anantnag and Budgam,” it added. Guidelines for operation of SDRF envisages payment of gratuitous relief of Rs 1,300 per family for loss of clothing and Rs 1,400 for loss of utensils/household goods to families whose houses were either washed away or inundated for more than a week or fully damaged. The Audit noticed that relief amounting to Rs 12.60 crore was not provided to 46,680 eligible households. On the other hand, it said that gratuitous relief of Rs 1.42 crore was provided to ineligible families (Rs 91 lakh) and to families not affected by flood (Rs 50 lakh). It added that the state government provided between October 2014 to September 2015 Rs 2.14 crore under the SDRF to SMC for collection of garbage and its disposal at the land fill site located at Acchan in Srinagar after 2014 floods.

The SMC incurred an expenditure o Rs 1.37 crore on collection of 73,435 Metric Tonne (MT) of gardage and its disposal at landfill site during September 17, 2014 to November 15, 2014. However, the report observed that records showed that the number of tipper trucks and JCBs shown utilised by the SMC for garbage clearance in Srinagar city was at variance with the number verified by Ward Officers (Sanitary Inspectors). Payment for 441 days, 119 nights in respect of tipper trucks and 102 days and 22 night in respect of JCBs was made in excess of payments verified by Ward Officers. The amount involved was Rs 31.26 lakh, it said. While the entire garbage accumulated due to floods in Srinagar was shown as collected and disposed of by SMC, Rs 1.30 crore provided to four PWD (R&B) divisions of Srinagar from the SDRF for restoration of washed out, damaged roads was also shown spent on lifting of garbage, clearance of drain between October 2014 and November 2014.

“The details of vehicles utilised by the Divisions for disposal of garbage, including the details of agencies from whom they were hired, were not on record. While the PWD claimed that the sanitation work done by them supplemented the work done by the SMC, the Financial Advisor and Chief Accounts Officer SMC stated (June 2016) that the entire city had been cleaned and no area under SMC was left out or ignored during cleanliness drive,” it observed. Hence, it said the expenditure of Rs 1.30 crore included in the works bills for restoration of roads could not be verified by audit.

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