16 September, Bhubaneswar
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on Saturday rapped the Odisha government for its failure to implement special intervention programmes in Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected areas.
The CAG report for the year ended March 2016, which was tabled in the Odisha Assembly, stated that the special intervention programmes in the areas of development, security and right recognition were not implemented properly.
It said annual action plans (AAPs) of each district under the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) were to be prepared before the commencement of the financial year for facilitating completion of projects within the financial year.
“However, AAPs for 2013-14 and 2014-15 were prepared belatedly after delays of 3 to 12 months from the beginning of the financial year. This led to delay in execution of projects and utilisation of funds, resulting in the loss of central assistance,” said the CAG report.
It said that the state government lost about Rs 497 crore central assistance during 2013-15 as it failed to meet the prescribed conditions of the union government.
“Due to non-fulfilment of prescribed conditions, GoI released only Rs 582.57 crore against entitlement of Rs 1,080 crore for 18 districts of the state under IAP during 2013-14 and 2014-15. Due to non-release of the remaining funds of Rs 497.43 crore by GoI, the state government had to utilise Rs 393.07 crore out of its own resources to complete the sanctioned projects under IAP for 2013-14 and 2015-16,” the report said.
It said despite instructions of the state government to the district collectors to devise and implement appropriate livelihood projects, no projects were included in AAPs in four test-checked districts during 2011-16.
Notably, Left Wing Extremism has emerged as one of the greatest challenges to the internal security of the country. Odisha assumes strategic significance in tackling it, as a corridor of the extremist activities extends from Jharkhand to Andhra Pradesh via Odisha having contiguous forest cover.
Eighteen districts of the state were affected by LWE activities, of which Koraput and Malkangiri were the worst affected. During 2011-16, 429 LWE incidents were reported in the state, in which 45 security personnel and 128 civilians were killed.
Besides, 56 left wing extremists were killed, said the CAG.