CAG puts PWD (R&B) in spot
Morung Express News
Dimapur | February 21
The Nagaland Public Works Department (R&B) made payments of Rs 18.08 crore to contractors of three road projects “without execution of works,” found the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.
In its report for the year ending March 31, 2018, the CAG informed that these payments were made with regard to the Jendang Saddle to Noklak Pangsha road (Phase-II), road from Suruhuto Medical Colony to Zunheboto-Mokokchung (SH) at Kitsakita, and the Aizuto to Atoizu road.
With regard to the Jendang Saddle to Noklak Pangsha road (Phase-II) project, the CAG informed that the DoNER sanctioned Rs 21.87 crore for construction of 31 kms. The work order was issued in January 2013.
The CAG however found that the work remained incomplete till November 2017 though the target date for completion expired in January 2015. Despite this, the CAG said that the contractor was paid Rs 13 crore in June 2016.
During a joint inspection in November 2017, the team found that only a 20 km stretch of the road was accessible, indicating that “works had not be executed.”
It found that works regarding drainage, Granular Sub Base (GSB) and Water Bound Macadam (WBM) were not executed for a portion of the road. The CAG however stated that payments to the tune of Rs 9.93 crore were made to the contractor for the unexecuted works.
“These discrepancies indicated that the SDO and EE made the entries in the measurement books without conducting actual measurement of the works executed in contravention of the MPWD Code,” the CAG stated.
The department meanwhile responded in 2018 that cross drainage works and unlined drainage were completed but the same were damaged by heavy rainfall. The CAG however observed that this “reply could not be accepted as the above facts were accepted during the joint verification.”
The second case involving the road from Suruhuto Medical Colony to Zunheboto-Mokokchung stretch at Kitsakita was also inspected by the CAG. For this project, the Centre sanctioned Rs 15.78 Crore in February 2014. Work order for Rs 14.69 crore was issued in February, 2015 to M/s Multi Builders, Dimapur for 7 seven components of the work.
Work commenced in March 2015 and was certified 70 percent completed in March 2017. Thereafter the contractor was paid Rs 8.05 crore in June 2016.
A joint inspection in December 2017 found that works regarding WBM grade II and III, and retaining walls were not executed in full, but the contractor was paid. This resulted in payment of Rs 2.63 Crore without actual measurements of the works.
The government said that “payments of some items of works were not based on actual measurement on site,” the CAG informed.
Regarding the road construction project from Aizuto to Atoizu, the CAG informed that work order for Rs 14 crore was issued in April 2016 to M/s LP Lohe and Sons, Dimapur for 11 components of work.
The work commenced in March 2017 and the contractor was paid Rs 9.33 crore in November 2016 and June 2017 through two installments.
During the joint inspection in December, 2017 however, the CAG found that sub grade works, WBM grad I & II works, retaining walls and hume pipe culverts were incomplete. Despite this, “excess” payment to the tune of Rs 5.52 crore was made, the report informed.
Responding to this, the department, in September, 2018 stated that some payment was made to the contractor which was not commensurate with the actual physical progress of work, as it was an ongoing work.
The CAG however said that in the above three cases, the system of payment on actual measurement required under provisions of NPWD code and provisions of GFR was not followed by the EEs concerned.
“The dereliction of duties by the three EEs had resulted in payment of Rs 18.08 crore without actual execution of works which needs to be recovered,” it recommended. It further said that the cases need to be investigated and FIRs filed.