CAG Pulls up Govt on Drinking Water
BHUBANESWAR: The State Government failed to avail Central assistance of `128.23 crore because of delay in execution and utilisation of funds for drinking water projects.
Drinking water in adequate quantity was not supplied to all people in 95 out of 106 urban areas of the State. The CAG, in its latest report, has pulled up the State Government for its failure to ensure safe drinking water despite a policy in place. Water quality monitoring and surveillance was weak and unsafe water was supplied to many urban areas, the CAG said.
Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Town (UIDSSMT) gave priority to water supply projects and provided for cost sharing between the Centre, State Government and urban local body (ULB) concerned at 80:10:10 respectively.
During 2009-14, 17 water supply projects with project cost of `407.03 crore were sanctioned by the Centre under UIDSSMT and Central assistance for `197.39 crore was received. However, for six projects in Angul, Berhampur, Bhawanipatna, Jharsuguda, Parlakhemundi and Phulbani, Central assistance was not released as the Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO) failed to utilise 70 per cent of the scheme fund in time.
Central assistance of `99.28 crore could not be availed for projects in Baripada, Choudwar, Cuttack, Rourkela and Sambalpur Phase II as these were not started by the time the scheme was closed in March, 2014. The CAG maintained that as of March, 2015, only `92.36 crore was utilised and only two projects were completed.
CAG maintained that in Balangir, Bhanjanagar, Berhampur and Rourkela public health divisions, eight water supply works remained incomplete even after eight to 47 months of their starting.
Audit found that per capita water supply in only 11 out of 106 urban areas of the State remained 135 litres per capita per day (lpcd) or more with minimum in Kendrapara (138 lpcd) and maximum in Sambalpur (213 lpcd). In Puri, water supply was 124 lpcd due to delay in completion of water supply projects.
Water supply in remaining 95 urban areas of the State remained less than 135 lpcd with highest in Balasore (128 lpcd) and lowest in Belpahar (16 lpcd). The CAG maintained that out of the 1,321 Wards of 78 test checked urban areas, 404 Wards (31 per cent) were partly covered while 104 Wards (8 per cent) remained totally uncovered.