Mizoram incurred Rs 24 crore wasteful expenditure in 3 polytechnic buildings: CAG
Mizoram CM Zoramthanga

Aizawl: The CAG of India criticised the Mizoram government for wasting Rs. 24 crore on constructing three new polytechnic buildings without creating the necessary posts. The CAG report, presented by Chief Minister Zoramthanga in the recent assembly session, highlighted that the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Higher Education department had approved financial assistance of Rs. 36.90 crore for establishing new polytechnics in three underserved districts – Mamit, Kolasib, and Champhai between December 2008 and August 2009.

The financial aid was provided at a rate of Rs. 12.30 crore per polytechnic. According to the grant conditions, any additional funds required beyond this amount were the state government’s responsibility. Additionally, the state government was supposed to cover all recurring expenses for running the polytechnics and had committed to providing land and necessary funding for the setup.

However, an audit revealed that out of the approved amount, Rs. 33.27 crore was released by the ministry between December 2008 and March 2015. The construction of the polytechnics was carried out by the state PWD, which transferred Rs. 24 crore allocated for civil works to the PWD’s Engineer-In-Chief between August 2010 and October 2011.

The PWD completed the administrative buildings and other components between April 2013 and June 2016, spending Rs. 24 crore. While the Mamit polytechnic building was taken over by the Higher and Technical Education department, the Kolasib polytechnic building wasn’t due to issues such as water and electricity connections, missing ceiling fans, tube lights, and the need for restroom repairs.

Similarly, the Champhai polytechnic building remained unutilized due to various issues, including missing fittings, theft, and damage to electrical wiring and sanitary facilities. Moreover, the department couldn’t create or fill positions due to financial constraints imposed by the state government since July 2014, leading to the delayed start of operations for one of the three polytechnics.

An audit in September 2022 found that the Kolasib polytechnic still had incomplete internal electrification, missing fixtures, broken windows, no water pump, and no stair railings. Rainwater harvesting facilities were also absent in certain blocks.

The CAG report noted that the state government had been informed of these issues in August 2022. While the government acknowledged the audit findings, it stated that proposals to create positions for operating the newly constructed polytechnics had been deferred in council meetings in March and June 2018.

As a result, the failure to create sanctioned posts by the state government led to the underutilization of the polytechnic infrastructure, resulting in a wasteful expenditure of Rs. 24 crore, as outlined in the CAG report.

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