Exposing a chink in the armour of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the CAG’s performance report said the authority is ill-prepared to handle a potential natural or manmade disaster.
The report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday said the NDMA didn’t complete any of its major disaster preparedness projects on schedule. The performance of the NDMA, which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs, in terms of project implementation had been abysmal as it selected projects without proper ground work, the report said. The CAG said some projects were abandoned midway owing to poor planning.
The projects for landslide and flood risk mitigation are being redesigned after six years.
“All major risk mitigation projects initiated by the NDMA were at various stages of implementation. The time limits were either without any basis or absent altogether,” said the report.
The CAG also questioned the NDMA’s airborne laser terrain mapping and digital camera system which could only generate a map of less than 10 per cent of flood-prone areas after spending `23.75 crore. The auditor said an action plan was prepared by the National Remote Sensing Agency to cover five lakh sq km in five years. “However, the survey work was conducted only up to August 2010. By then, data acquisition for only 38,020 sq km was completed against the target of 60,000 sq km,” the report noted.
The report also revealed the delay in at least six support programmes including the satellite-based communication network for disaster management and Doppler weather radars. The radar project was mooted in 2006 and over `35 crore was spent in the last six years on the project but the radars are yet to be set up. Similarly, the satellite-based network could not be completed despite spending over `6 crore. The proposed date of completion for it was December 2005.
The CAG report also targeted the MHA for its lackadaisical attitude, saying the National Executive Committee (NEC) constituted in 2006 under Home Secretary met only thrice in the last seven years. The NEC was to meet at least once in every three months.
“Absence of a disaster management plan at the national level had a trickle-down effect on the states as they did not have a framework of reference to base their plans on,” the report stated.
Resources and Fund Arrangements
The CAG said there were delays and mismanagement in respect of the State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF). The auditor slammed states for not sending details of utilisation and unspent balances to Home Ministry on time.
“States did not invest the unspent balances under the SDRF as per the guidelines. This resulted in potential a loss of interest of `477.99 crore,” it said.
As of September 2011, the report noted, only eight states had prepared emergency action plans for 192 large dams against the targeted 4,728 large dams in 29 states.
Further, the project to enhance weather forecasting capabilities for cyclones and Tsunamis was not completed and only 47 per cent funds could be utilised.