‘Forest cover in State decreased’

Published: 15th February 2013 10:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th February 2013 10:07 AM   |  A+A-

Despite massive afforestation programmes, the forest area in the state  decreased by a whopping 797 sq km between 2001 and 2011, according to the CAG  report for the year ended  March 31, 2012.

Apart from reduction in the forest covered area,  about 67,096 hectares of forest land has been encroached upon at the end of March 2012 and no efforts have been made to remove illegal occupation.

A large number of vacancies among the line staff, absence of  a clear-cut forest policy, failure to evacuate the illegal occupation are among other reasons for the depletion of forest coverage in the state, the report said.

BWSSB, BDA not spared

The report said the BWSSB  ignored lowest bids for seven packages and rejected them on the grounds that they were not substantially responsive while accepting the higher bids. This led to an extra expenditure of Rs 21.36 crore. Also, the BWSSB inappropriately adopted current cost indices for regulating price adjustment and in the process made an excess payment of Rs 6.82 crore to a company. Bangalore Development Authority irregularly diverted Rs 13.26 crore from health cess for unauthorised purposes. Though the BDA has spent Rs 22.69 crore on rejuvenation and restoration of Malattahalli lake, it has failed to prevent sewage from flowing into the lake, which made the rejuvenation useless.

“Being in Bangalore, the country’s IT Capital, Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has not formulated any IT policy to guide its IT initiatives. The IT controls functioning in BDA were not capable of ensuring safeguarding of assets, data integrity and their confidentiality. It needed to take immediate and appropriate steps to overcome these shortcomings.”

This is the observation made by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) as part of its audit of Information Systems in BDA.

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