SHILLONG, June 18: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on Monday summoned the PWD and Border Area Development (BAD) Department and sought explanation about the irregularities and anomalies about which objections were raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (Shillong) in its report tabled in the Assembly.
“The meeting of the PAC was called today to address the observations of the CAG where there is a backlog of almost 350 audit paragraphs which need to be addressed from 2008-09 TO 2016-17,” Charles Pyngrope, chairman of the committee said, adding, “Taking that into consideration the department of PWD and border areas were summoned to explain to us about the irregularities and the objections raised by the audits of the CAG and asked them to give a satisfactory answer because the reply furnish by the department was not satisfactory.”
Expressing dissatisfaction over the reply furnished by these two departments, the PAC questioned the PWD and Border Area Development Departments on four major items.
“The public accounts committee mainly highlighted four major items, firstly on failure of the department to complete the bridge over river Umiam at Shella even after 6 years of the stipulated date of completion resulted in an unproductive expedition of Rs 4.79 crore,” Pyngrope said.
“Secondly, on the department making extra expenditure of Rs 85.89 lakh to construct a bridge over river Phodsala in Mawkyrwat area without actual requirement for the first KJP Synod Sepngi annual meeting,” he said, adding, “Thirdly, the department extended undue financial benefit of Rs 2.21 crore by allowing higher rate to the contractors for excavation of hard rock in execution of two road works without using explosives.”
“Fourthly, injurious approval of the border area Development Department to recommend funding of Rs 1.39 crore to set up a ‘fish seed production farm and multipurpose development project’ on a privately-owned plot and inordinate delay in its completion led the project fraught with the risk of cost overruns and rendering the expenditure of Rs 49.23 lakh incurred so far remaining unfruitful,” he added.
The 350 paragraph CAG report assessment was made from 2008-09 TO 2016-17 and the Public Accounts Committee dig the files and cleaned the dust to find out irregularities mentioned in the report.
Giving its suggestion, the PAC states that all details must be put in place before allotting any work to any contractor or requirements under the law should be adhered to, thereby eliminating any possibility of cost overruns and transaction which may not conform to the rules laid down by the Government.