KU undertook 137 building projects worth Rs 31 cr without inviting tenders, says CAG

SRINAGAR: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has slammed Kashmir University for undertaking building projects without formulation and approval of plans.
The works which cost the varsity Rs 31 crore were executed without inviting tenders and without proper test checking of construction material, the CAG says in the latest report.
“The construction of 137 buildings projects (incurring) Rs 31.57 crore was undertaken without formulation and approval of plans. Supplementary agreements for additional works amounting to Rs 23.88 crore were irregularly made with contractors on already allotted rates and works were got executed without calling fresh tenders,” the CAG says.
It says it noticed delay ranging between 2-52 months in completion or execution of eight building projects on which an expenditure of Rs 27.53 crore was incurred during the period 2008-‘13.
The Construction Wing of the varsity had not established its store; therefore “key construction material for the works was utilised by the contractors themselves.”
The CAG says it was also noticed that the university Works Committee was not constituted during the period 2008-09 to 2012-13 and no plans for infrastructure development activities of the campuses were formulated.
Works executed without inviting tenders
The CAG say that the audit scrutiny showed that 29 works were taken up for execution during 2007-08 to 2012-13 at an estimated cost of Rs 23.53 crore without preparing Detailed Project Reports (DPRs).
“The cost of these works was revised to Rs 40.25 crore. Further, supplementary agreements for additional works amounting to Rs 23.88 crore were irregularly made with constructors on already allotted rates, and works were got executed without calling for fresh tenders,” the CAG report says.
The construction of a three0storeyed building for Education Department was administratively approved (June 2007) at an estimated cost of Rs 2.83 crore for which the tenders were invited (November 2007) by the Construction Wing at an estimated cost of Rs 2.83 crore.
“However, test-check of records showed that in anticipation of technical sanction the work was allotted to the first lowest tenderer at a cost of Rs 2.21 crore, though the university authorities failed to identify land and demarcate the location for construction of the building till July 2008. As a result the contractor expressed his inability to execute the work at allotted cost and instead requested for execution of work at the enhanced rates to be raised by 40 per cent (arriving at Rs 3.09 crore).
“The work was put (July 2008) to fresh tenders at an advertised cost of Rs 3.30 crore and work was allotted (September 2008) to another contractor at a negotiated cost of Rs 3.54 crore. Thus failure of the university authorities to timely demarcate the land for construction of the building resulted in allotment of work at higher cost to the extent of Rs 1.33 crore,” the CAG report says.
Poor quality check mechanism
The material utilised by the contractors in respect of all works executed in the university during 2008-09 to 2012-13 was not tested at any stage of execution to ensure that they conform to the quality and prescribed specification, indicating poor quality control mechanism.
Funds not utilised
The CAG report says the university failed to provide infrastructure facilities for women as the funds amounting to Rs 25 lakh released (2010-11) for the purpose were not utilized during the period 2010-13.