This Report contains 24 paragraphs, two performance reviews, one thematic review and one integrated audit of a Department. The draft audit paragraphs and performance reviews were sent to the concerned Secretaries to the State Government with a request to furnish replies within eight weeks. However, in respect of performance reviews, thematic review, integrated audit and 20 paragraphs included in the Report, no replies were received from the State. The audit findings relating to the performance reviews and integrated audit were also discussed with the Secretaries to the State Government and the views of the Government were incorporated wherever appropriate. A synopsis of the important findings contained in the Report is presented in the overview.
The Public Works Department of the State is required to provide good quality roads and connectivity between towns and cities by taking up improvement/upgradation and periodic maintenance of State highways and Major District Roads. A performance review of upgradation and improvement of State Highways (SHs) and Major District Roads (MDRs) revealed that the Department had not formulated a State Road Policy for future plans and actions for development of an efficient road network in the State. Allotment of funds for maintenance was made by the Department based on yard stick rates which remained unrevised since June 1997 overlooking the escalation in costs of labour and material; as a result, funds provided at the unrevised rates were insufficient to meet the expenditure on maintenance thereby affecting the quality of the roads. Audit also noticed instances of diversion of funds meant for SHs/MDRs to other works. Roads were executed without technical sanctions. Poor contract management and inadequate monitoring of works contributed to instances of sub-standard road works, delay in completion of works and damages to roads due to improper drainage system.
The State Government started implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act from the date it came into force viz. 2 February 2006. The basic objective of the Act is to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed employment, besides generating productive assets, protecting the environment, empowering rural women, reducing rural-urban migration and fostering social equity among others.
Performance Review of the implementation of the Act in the State highlights the areas of concern and issues which need to be addressed for successful achievement of the objective set out for implementation of the Act. The review revealed that there were deficiencies in the planning process, particularly in the preparation of five year District Perspective Plans (DPPs). While Audit did not notice any case of denial of 100 days employment in a year to any household in the test-checked districts, there were instances of delay in payment of wages to the workers. Absence of DPPs and lack of inputs from the community at grass root level in the annual plans to ensure linkage between REGS works and long term employment development resulted in execution of developmental works in an unplanned manner. Implementing agencies ignored statutory priorities in execution of works which impacted upon non-strengthening of nature resource base of rural livelihood by not taking up works of highest priority such as water conservation, drought proofing, afforestation and minor irrigation to address the issue of poverty. Monitoring mechanism particularly at higher level was also found deficient.