Rs 200-cr JNNURM funds diverted: CAG

The Comptroller and Auditor General, in its latest performance audit report of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) tabled in Parliament on Thursday, has said that nearly Rs 200 crore, set aside for housing and urban infrastructure projects under the mission, were diverted to other programmes.

The CAG report points to eight cases of fund diversion and states that a total of Rs 114.68 crore was diverted from infrastructure projects in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh.

The auditor notes that Rs 72.72 crore of mission funds allotted to Andhra Pradesh Housing Board for housing and slum development were diverted to another state scheme Rajeev Gruha Kalpa. In another instance, funds were diverted for payment of salary to the municipal staff.

The report chides the government for delays in implementing housing and urban infrastructure projects. The government had approved 1,517 housing projects and 1,298 urban infrastructure projects during the mission period 2005 to 2011.

But as on March 31, 2011, only 22 housing projects and 231 urban infrastructure projects have been completed, the report stated. However, it has also noted that much of delays were due to unavailability of land.

The report notes that utilisation certificates worth Rs 10,000 crore are pending with the ministries of Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. The CAG has called upon the ministries to introduce a "zero tolerance policy".

The audit has also found a few cases of unauthorised and irregular expenditure and instances of undue favours to contractors.

Contending that the Central government must spot deficiencies in monitoring of the schemes, it noted that the objective of reforms in governance of urban local bodies has not been achieved.

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