The Comptroller and Auditor General has rapped the Maharashtra government for its “indecision” in implementing of the water transport system in Mumbai, which has led to a “wasteful” expenditure of Rs 20.95 crore.
The report says that the state government had in June 1999 appointed Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) as the implementing agency for the work of developing passenger water transport system along the Mumbai coast.
The MMB conducted detailed surveys and drew designs and invited tenders on Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis.
“But then suddenly it was decided to transfer the project to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Limited (MSRDCL),” the CAG report said.
Following the transfer of project, MSRDCL also prepared plans and detailed engineering drawings and obtained all the required permissions, the CAG said.
The CAG said this in its report tabled in both the Houses of the state Legislature today.
“Tenders were invited three times between 2002-2009, but were not finalised due to various reasons like non- availability of land parcel from the port trust and internal disputes of the contractors and poor responses of operators,” the report said.
Since 2002, the MSRDCL had spent Rs 20.95 crore by appointing consultants to prepare the design for the project and to conduct feasibility study.
Subsequently, in 2014, the government decided not to pursue the western waterways projects and again appointed MMB as the implementing agency for the east coast project in June 2015, the report said.
“The MMB has again floated tenders for appointment of consultants for the project,” it added.
The report further stated that the MSRDCL has not been able to conceptualise the project within a span of 10 to 13 years despite being transferred to it.
“The indecision of the government, even after the lapse of 16 years as regards its willingness to go ahead with the project and deciding the implementing agency, the project as envisaged could not be implemented…This has led to a wasteful expenditure of Rs 20.95 crore,” it stated.