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CAG flags lapses in work on Shahpur Kandi project

Chandigarh, July 23: Envisioned to be operational by 2015, the Shahpur Kandi dam project, which was meant to boost irrigation and power generation, remains far from complete with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) flagging deficiencies in the execution of the project.

There is a shortfall of 63 per cent in physical progress in the construction of the main dam and 54 per cent in construction of the main canal, the CAG observed in its latest report laid in Parliament this week.

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The work on the head regulator and connectivity is short by 41 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively.

“This not only indicates poor implementation, but has the risk of further delay and cost overruns. It is noted that only Rs 26.04 crore had been spent against the total project cost of Rs 2,285.81 crore as of March 2017,” the CAG remarked.

Located in Gurdaspur district between the Ranjit Sagar Dam and Madhopur headworks, the project will have a 55.5-m high dam with two power houses with an installed capacity of 206 MW and an irrigation potential of 37,173 hectares.
It is part of the Centre’s scheme of national projects launched in 2008 that identified 16 major water resource development and irrigation projects under the accelerated irrigation benefits programme.

However, only five of the 16 projects are under implementation. Though a total of Rs 3,299.12 crore has been spent on the projects so far, the scheme’s fundamental objective remained unachieved due to various constraints and hurdles, the CAG has observed.

The Central government released Rs 10.8 crore in March 2010 and Rs 15.24 crore in March 2011 for construction of the main dam and regulator. However, the Irrigation Department took 34 months to finalise the tendering process and the work of construction was allotted only in January 2013. Approximately three years were taken by the department to finalise the award of the work, which delayed the project’s progress.

The CAG also noticed a gap between the completion of dam work and canal work reflecting lack of synchronisation of different project components. The shortfalls were attributable to inadequate land acquisition, inefficient rehabilitation and resettlement measures and lack of monitoring.

Of the five projects under implementation, Shahpur Kandi is the only project where no irrigation potential has been created so far.

Source Tribune India



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