The Fourth Support Mission team of World Bank (WB) began its review of the progress of Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) from Monday against the backdrop of low spending by the state departments in the ` 227-crore project.
The team met nodal officers of various departments and discussed the progress of their components. The WB-funded project is providing assistance to 10 departments to strengthen their infrastructure on coastal management and provide livelihood assistance to the coastal fisherfolks.
The five-member team, headed by ICZMP National Project Director Vivek Wadekar and Team Task Leader Tapas Paul, is in the State for three days during which it will meet Chief Secretary BK Patnaik and Finance Secretary JK Mohapatra.
ICZM Project was launched in Odisha on a pilot basis in 2010 with a total project outlay of ` 227.64 crore for five years, including the state share. However, it is the low spending pattern which has been a cause of concern for the project management. So far, just about ` 36.77 crore has been spent by the 10 administrative departments which are project executive agencies (PEAs).
Though the project was launched in late 2010, the year was not taken into account for fiscal assessment which meant that the combined spending by the PEAs has been very low in the two subsequent year. Interestingly, two of the PEAs which have been found to be slow in their implementation are Wildlife Wing and Odisha Tourism Development Corporation, sources said. Against an allocation of ` 42 crore, Wildlife Wing has managed to spend just about ` 3 crore though it takes stock of the project implementation on a monthly basis. The lion’s share of its spending has been on plantation but it has found land alienation of the purpose very hard. Similarly, eco-tourism projects under ICZMP have not taken off because of the tardy implementation by the Wildlife Wing. The OTDC has spent just about ` 20 lakh out of Rs 17-crore allocation. The WB Mission Team will take up the areas concerned with the Chief Secretary, who happens to be the Chairman of the Steering Committee of ICZMP as well as Finance Secretary and Secretary, Forest and Environment Department, during its review process.