Saturday, December 03, 2022

CAG report 2013-14: Electricity not provided to 14 villages in Nagaland, says PAC

By Our Correspondent Updated: Aug 21, 2020 6:21 pm

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Aug. 21 (EMN): Despite launching the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojna (RGGVY) project in the state eight years ago (2005-06), the department of Power didn’t provided electricity to 14 villages and 259 habitations covering 27,063 households, according to Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) 122nd report on examination of the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India for the year 2013-14.

The PAC presented its report during the recently concluded sixth session of the 13th NLA, held on August 13.

In April 2005, the government of India, with an aim to electrify all rural households in five years under National Common Minimum Programme, had launched the RGGVY throughout the country. The scheme was to be implemented under 10th and 11th five-year plans.

The report stated that in Nagaland, the report was initially launched in two out of eleven districts (Kohima and Phek) under 10th five-year plan. The project in Kohima, however, could not take off due to litigation and alternatively, Zunheboto district was selected for implementing the scheme instead of Kohima. The remaining nine districts were covered under the 11th five-year plan.

In reply, the department stated in October 2014 that as of September 2014, there were 10 un-electrified villages and 56 habitations and the same would be electrified by November 2014, the report added. However, the committee stated that the reply confirms slow progress of work relating to implementation of RGGVY scheme in the state of Nagaland.

Inaccurate projection of rural households

The report said that as per census 2001, there were 2,65,334 rural households in Nagaland out of which, a total number of 1,14,405 households were un-electrified. But in contrast to the figures projected in the census 2001, the department incorporated 1,43,060 households as un-electrified in the detailed project reports (DPRs) by adopting inflated data of un-electrified households.

The report said that it was noticed the inflated figures of un-electrified households were considered for 10 out of 11 districts (except Tuensang district) of the state.  Thus, the actual number of rural households to be electrified under RGGVY was overstated by 28,655 households and the cost implication of the inaccurate projections made by the department on the number of un-electrified households was to the tune of INR 6.30 crore, it stated.

While accepting the facts, the department stated in October 2014 that the statistics provided under Census of 2001 were not firm, the report read. The committee expressed that the reply of the department is not acceptable as in case of any discrepancies in the figures of targeted beneficiaries, the department should have approached GOI for appropriate revision in the scope of the scheme.

In an audit query, when the committee asked the government to comment on the inaccurate projection of un-electrified households under RGGVY which was inflated by 28655 households leading to cost implication of INR 6.30 crore, the department in a written reply stated that while accepting the mismatch in the number of households with that of census 20001 figures, “it is to be mentioned that grant for service connection is provided only to BPL rural households under the Scheme. REC Ltd. sanctioned 69,900 nos. of BPL rural households eligible for grant of free service connection”.

However, only 52,295 households could be electrified, incurring an amount of INR 1087.46 lakh and the remaining households could not be electrified due to either lack of infrastructure in most villages or reduced number of BPL households. INR 867.14 lakh has been released and the balance amount of INR 220.332 lakh is pending for approval and release, it stated.

The report said that during oral evidence, the department accepted the fact that they have mismatched the number and could not cover the entire household which is under RGGVY.

“Due to sheer negligence by the department many BPL rural households are still not electrified,” the committee stated in its recommendation, adding that they cannot accept the reply provided by the department.

The committee further advised the department to speed up the process of electrifying all households under BPL, as otherwise stern action will be taken against the department. Compliance on the recommendations of the committee may be furnished within two months from the date of presentation of this report to the house, it added.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Aug 21, 2020 6:21:33 pm