CAG report picks holes in Biju Setu Yojana in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has found several irregularities in the implementation of Biju Setu Yojana (BSY) in Odisha.

The CAG has pointed out several reasons including delay in finalization of tender, poor quality survey resulting in changes in design, failure in resolving issues related to land acquisition and inefficiency of private contractors for tardy progress BSY in the state.

The CAG report said the state government had planned to finish 793 bridge projects during 2017 to 2021. Out of which, only 473 (59 per cent) were completed. The BSY scheme was launched by the state government in 2011 to boost road communication in rural areas.

The authorities concerned could spend only Rs 2,255 crore against the budget provision of Rs 2,570 crore under the scheme. Works on 48 bridge projects remained incomplete after incurring an expenditure of Rs 184 crore due to non-acquisition of land needed for the bridge or for the approach roads. Besides, provision for manual excavation instead of mechanical excavation led to extra expenditure of Rs 4.82 crore in 82 projects, said the CAG report, which was tabled in the Assembly today.

The CAG report cited poor monitoring of the work by the state quality monitors (SQM) and third party quality monitors (TPQM). The SQM did not inspect 96 per cent bridge works while the TPQM did not do the same in 80 per cent project works.

A bridge over Suktel river in Bolangir district was completed in September, 2015 with an expenditure of Rs 7.58 crore. Cracks came up on the bridge due to poor quality construction work. The bridge collapsed in April, 2020, said the CAG report.

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