CAG finds flaws in implementation of NRDWP in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The implementation of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) has not been effective in Odisha with the programme reaching only 3.70 per cent households in the state against its target of covering 35 per cent households by March 2017, a CAG report has said.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report on general and social sector was tabled in the Odisha Assembly by Finance Minister S B Behera on Thursday.

“Digging of tube wells without conducting scientific survey had led to dry wells which deprived the habitations of drinking water and expenditure incurred on them became wasteful,” the report said.

Therefore, the vision of providing safe drinking water to the people living in rural areas at all times could not be achieved in the state, it said.

The aim of the NRDWP is to provide every rural person with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other basic domestic needs on a sustainable basis, with a minimum water quality standard, which should be conveniently accessible at all times and in all situations.

The Centre had launched the NRDWP on April 1, 2009 and the Odisha State Water and Sanitation Mission (OSWSM), under the Rural Development Department, implements the programme in the state.

Fund management was not efficient and instances of delay in release of funds by the state government and low utilisation due to slow pace of execution of works were also noticed.

The CAG report further said that the target fixed under strategic plan, to be achieved by 2017, was largely not achieved and water quality monitoring and surveillance was inadequate.

The CAG also highlighted inadequacies in the jail administration saying that the state’s Home Department had not adopted the reforms suggested in the Model Prison Manual.

The Home Department had not submitted utilisation certificate for Rs 75 crore received from the 13th Finance Commission, as a result of which the central government did not release the balance amount of Rs 25 crore which was a loss to the state exchequer, the report said.

It pointed out that the jail authorities had kept 472 convicts and 1,988 undertrial prisoners in the same ward without separate enclosure. This was against the Odisha Jail Manual rules.

Similarly, installation of 2G cell phone jammers in five jails failed to block signal, rendering the expenditure of Rs 3.91 crore on jammers unfruitful, the report said.

Of the 873 walkie-talkies purchased at a cost of Rs 59.74 lakh, 257 were non-functional from the date of receipt.

In 11 jails, 96 out of 234 rifles were unserviceable.

During 2014-17, 21 prisoners managed to escape from jails due to insufficient security, the report said.

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