NEW DELHI: Amidst growing infrastructure by China on its border with India, the CAG has slammed the military for its ill-preparedness on roads close to China border, as out of 73 strategic roads, only 22 of them have been completed.
In its report on the construction of Indo-China border roads, tabled in the Parliament on Friday, country’s top auditor has come down heavily on army and border roads organization for inordinate delays in construction of 61 strategically-important roads, having a total length of 3,409 KM, under the Indo-China Border Roads (ICBRs) project.
Criticism came at a time when China on Monday operationalised its second-largest airport terminal in Tibet, close to the Indian border.
The Cabinet Committee on Security had emphasized the time bound completion of the strategic project.
“As of March 2016, an expenditure of Rs. 4536 crore against an estimated cost of Rs. 4643 crore was incurred for 61 roads, however only 36 per cent of 22 roads having a length of 707.24 km had been completed,” CAG report pointed out.
The Central auditory also maintained that there were numerous instances of defective construction of roads on account of unsuitable design, steep gradient, defective alignment, turning problems, improper contract management, poor riding conditions, inadequate drainage facilities, non-connectivity of roads and abandonment of executed works.
“This had not only resulted in delay in completion of strategic roads but also an in fructuous expenditure of Rs. 63.20 crore on account of corrective action of roads. This non-completion and faulty specifications of works have a serious bearing on the operational capability of the armed forces in strategic sensitive areas,” CAG stated.
In another report, CAG criticised the army for failing to come up with any long-term perspective plan for the creation of infrastructure for newly-inducted military systems including lack of facility for repair and overhaul of main battle tank Arjun which were inducted into the army from 2004 and its overhaul is required in 2020-21.
Auditors also counted delays in the maintenance of key weapon platforms, it said against the norm of 153 days, it took the army 1,512 days for the overhauling of BMP Infantry Combat Vehicles.
"Similarly, for Tanks T-72, the delay ranged up to 836 days against the norm of 144 days. Overhaul of Radar and its variants also experienced delays up to 921 days," the report said.
CAG report on working of Army's Base Workshops covering a period of six years from 2010-11 to 2015-16 said that "In case of Tank T-72, the quantum of backlog of overhaul was 713 at the end of 2010-11 and 479 at the end of 2015-16 which constitutes around 20 per cent of total holding," said.