A total 584 accidents took place due to defect in quality of arms and ammunition produced by Ordnance factories from 2014-15 to 2018-19, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) flagged in a report tabled in the Parliament on Wednesday.

"The nature of the defects observed in the accidents indicated mainly the quality problems of various components, malfunctioning of ammunition and weapon damages," said the audit report on Ordnance Factories and Defence Public Sector Undertakings.

It said that substantial time was taken in defect investigation of accidents delayed remedial measures to overcome the quality deficiencies.

Noting that Ordnance factories had a system of multi-tiered quality checks by factories' quality control section and quality assurance establishment attached with each factory, it said that recurrent return for rectification or rejections of materials and components items at the quality assurance stage and their reasons indicate inadequate and ineffective quality control checks by the factories and control and surveillance checks by the quality assurance agencies (SQAEs) during the manufacturing process.

Quality deficiencies in the materials and components items as well as lapses in quality control checks in the end product factories led to rejection of 11 end products valuing Rs 175 crore at the quality assurance stage.

To improve the situation, the Defence Ministry adopted a policy in April 2017 of outsourcing of non-core materials and components items by end product factories to improve operational efficiency of expenditure.

However, the implementation of the policy was far behind the planned target of 2018-19.

"Besides, alternative gainful utilisation of the idle capacity (manpower and machinery) of non-core items was yet to be accomplished (January 2021) in the selected materials and components Factories," the CAG report said.