Comptroller and Auditor General of India
Comptroller and Auditor General of India
Photo: cag.gov.in

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has castigated the previous BJP government for the gross violation of tendering norms by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) in awarding multiple contracts for the Navi Mumbai international airport (NMIA), Nerul Uran railway project (NURP) and Navi Mumbai Metro Project (NMMR). The report for the year ended March 31, 2018, was tabled by the Finance Minister Ajit Pawar in the state assembly.

Advertisements in respect to 16 tenders with estimated tender cost of Rs 50 crore and above were not released in leading newspapers at the national level in violation of the laid down guidelines. Global tenders for projects like NMMR and NMIA projects were not published in any international publication. In six contracts with estimated cost of Rs 890.42 crore, the contractors did not possess the minimum prescribed value of work experience, but were awarded the work.

In seven contracts with estimated cost of above Rs 15 crore each, the bidders were technically evaluated by dispensing with the marking system for technical qualification of the bidders. In 10 contracts with a total contract value of Rs 429.89 crore, the existing contractors were awarded additional works valuing Rs 69.39 crore at different work sites without inviting tenders in violation of the existing guidelines on tendering and lacked transparency.

In case of NURP, due to delay in appointment of consultant and lack of synchronisation in various activities, the completion of phase I of the project was delayed from December 2015 to November 2018. The station works are yet to be completed and phase II is still in progress (November 2018). CIDCO had tio terminate (May 2016) the work awarded for construction of rail overbridge at Dronagiri to avoid the gas pipelines passing under the foundation after incurring an expenditure of Rs 67 lakh. Another work of ROB near proposed Uran station was held up due to BPCL not granting permission for the work of approach road as the underground gas pipeline was passing below the approach road. Although the work of ROB was completed (February 2019) at cost of Rs 38.20 crore, the ROB is yet (August 2019) to be opened for traffic.

In case of NMMR, CAG rapped CIDCO for delays in the construction of NMMR. Although the project was scheduled to be completed by December 2013, major works like rail system contracts and approach viaduct works were awarded only in the year 2014 and are yet to be completed (November 2018).

Further, in one contract valuing Rs 1,328 crore pertaining to NMMR project, excess mobilistion advance amounting to Rs 25.33 crore was paid in violation of the contract conditions. In three contracts valuing Rs 2033.72 crore pertaining to land development works for NMIA project, CIDCO paid Rs 22.08 crore as price variation on material component, although these works were carried out by cutting the hill and filling the same with rock obtained from the said hill.

In 22 contracts with a contract value of Rs 4,759.94 crore, CIDCO had not recovered compensation for delay amounting to Rs 185.97 crore even though the delay in completion of work or not achieving the milestones were attributable to the contractors. CIDCO did not recover liquidated damages from the consultants for NMMR and NURP, although delay in issuance of drawings was attributable to the consultants.

Further, CAG expressed displeasure over non-implementation of Information technology-based monitoring system for engineering works and projects by CIDCO. The IT-based monitoring system would have enabled management to receive all the project related information in real time to enable timely and appropriate action on criticial issues. Various instances of delay in execution of works due to lack of internal control and monitoring were noticed.

The coastal road constructed at a cost of Rs 50.94 crore in June 2012 could not be utilised for more than six years as the construction of precast arch bridges on holding ponds was completed only in January 2019. The work of construction of road of 3.38 km length at Dronagiri including asphalting, storm water drains, sewer lines and water supply line was short closed (December 2015) as the remaining area was covered under mangroves and encorachments.

CAG said the CIDCO did not prepare any long, medium or short term plans for infrstructure works as it lacked systematic and comprehensive plan. This resulted in sanctioning of proposals for infrastructure works on a case to case basis. CIDCO had incurred an expenditure of Rs 4,459 crore on various infrastructure projects/works.

However, there was 30% increase in expenditure incurred on infrastructural works from Rs 706.04 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 920.10 crore in 2017-18. The average expenditure incurred against the budget during the five year period 2013-18 was 61%.

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