Rural Village Electrification
SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) was required to carry survey of remote villages for Rural Village Electrification (RVE), a government of India programme aimed for distribution of solar home lighting system and solar lanterns in the un-electrified areas.
However, JAKEDA—an agency of Science and Technology Department for harnessing new and renewable energy in the state—utilized Rs 2.86 crores for unproved items, Comptroller and Auditor General has said in the latest report.
Records, the CAG said, showed that neither any survey of remote villages had been undertaken nor Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) nor lists of beneficiaries prepared by the agency despite receiving Rs 2.86 crore for the purpose from the Government of India.
“(The amount) had been utilized on unapproved items like purchase of five vehicles, POL, travelling allowance, lunch in hotels, repair of vehicles, hiring of vehicles, purchase of equipment for office purposes, air fares, wages etc. during the period 2008-14.”
The government auditor has also noticed that the agency relied on the lists of remote villages or beneficiaries framed by the Rural Development Department which were vetted by the concerned Deputy Commissioners.
“The criteria adopted by the RDD for formulation of remote villages or beneficiaries lists were not available on record,” the CAG said, highlighting that the non-involvement of the agency in the preparation of lists of beneficiaries indicated lack of planning in implementation of the schemes.
“This led to non-distribution of SHLSs to 14,692 households of approved villages and wrongful distribution of 12,366 Solar Home Lighting Systems (SHLSs), valuing Rs 13.45 crores, in unapproved and electrified villages,” it said.
The auditor said that it checked four districts—two each in Jammu and Kashmir—and found that 25016 SHLS were approved in 148 villages by New Delhi.
However, 10324 SHLSs were distributed among approved households to deprive 14692, about 59 percent of households of the scheme benefits without assigning any reasons.
Records, the CAG said, also showed that the agency had formulated proposals for installation of solar equipment and submitted to the Government of India for approval without ensuring availability of space at proposed sites, indicating selection of projects on adhoc basis.
“As a result, audit found that 20 solar power plants and solar water heating systems (cost: Rs 8.69 crore) were not installed at institutions proposed by the agency and sanctioned by the Gol due to non-availability of required space and these equipment had been installed at unapproved institutions.”