Rs 2,500 Cr of ‘Namami Gange’ Funds Remains Unused: CAG Report

The performance audit by the apex auditor has revealed “underutilisation” of funds and “delays” in project approvals

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Rs 2,500 Cr of ‘Namami Gange’ Funds Remains Unused: CAG Report

Around Rs 2,500 crore of the ‘Namami Gange’ programme has been lying unutilised in the banks till 31 March, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that was presented before Parliament on Tuesday, 19 December, revealed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Namami Gange’ was launched with the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation, and rejuvenation of the Ganga river.

The performance audit by the CAG has revealed “underutilisation” of funds and “delays” in project approvals between 2014-15 and 2016-17, reported PTI.

Out of Rs 6,705 crore earmarked during 2015-16 and 2016-17, the NMCG (National Mission for Clean Ganga) could spend only Rs 1,665.41 crore, less than a quarter of the expected year-wise release of funds.
CAG report

As per the report, the Clean Ganga Fund had a corpus of Rs 198.14 crore from January till March 2017, which could not be utilised by the NMCG, and the entire amount was lying in banks due to “non-finalisation” of action plan.

The NMCG was unable to finalise the long-term action plan even after more than six-and-a-half years of the signing of an agreement with the consortium of the Indian Institutes of Technology, PTI reported.

CAG slammed the government for not performing upto the mark.  

It is because of the lack of action plan that the NMCG does not have a river basin management plan, even after a lapse of more than eight years of the National Ganga River Basin Authority notification, the CAG report stated.

Originally, the date for completing the work of all the sewage treatment plants (STP) was September 2016.

But, in around 60 percent stations in Uttar Pradesh, for which the data was accessible, the maximum value for fecal coliform levels exceeded norms. The situation is worse in West Bengal, as all the stations in the state failed to meet the norms, reported Hindustan Times.

The CAG report recommended the NMCG finalise the Ganga River Basin Management Plan for implementation of long-term intervention aimed at rejuvenation of the river on priority basis, and implement it in a time-bound manner. For better monitoring, it suggested the use of geo-spatial data of National Remote Sensing Centre, reported PTI.

(With inputs from PTI and Hindustan Times)

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