Violating guidelines of Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP), the Irrigation Department has allegedly completed over twenty-five Minor Irrigation schemes by spending funds more than permissible limit.
According to the sources, department chose irrigation schemes with high development cost which can be determined from the fact that according to AIBP guidelines, only those Surface Minor Irrigation schemes are qualified for funding which are approved by State Technical Advisory Committee and their development cost should not exceed one lakh rupees. However, the financial limit was later exceeded to Rs 2.50 lakh for schemes which were taken up afterwards.
Sources further said that the development cost for more than 25 schemes of Irrigation Division, Akhnoor, Irrigation & Flood Control Division, Irrigation & Flood Control Division, Budgam,Udhampur, Irrigation & Flood Control Division, Rajouri, Irrigation & Flood Control Division, Nowshera, Hydraulic Division Uri and Irrigation Division Anantnag sanctioned before the year 2013-14 and were expected to complete during 2010-16, exceeded permissible limit of one lakh. But, they were completed with a range between Rs 1- 3 lakh per hectare.
Sources said that huge expenditure worth crores of rupees was spent on these schemes. Even though the department has argued that these schemes were duly approved by the Technical Advisory Committee and only after their approval the funds were released for completion of works doesn’t make much sense because ineligible schemes were selected and approved violating AIBP guidelines.