Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India's audit report discovered massive irregularities in Odisha government’s ambitious Biju Setu Yojana (BSY) and several other major projects. 

Notably, the State government had launched BSY in 2011 with targets of constructing new bridges to provide all-weather connectivity to the rural areas to meet the transportation needs. 

However, the State government has reportedly failed to cater to the needs of the people. As per reports, the estimated budget provision for BSY under the State government’s Rural Development Department between 2017- 21 was Rs 2570 crore. However, of the total amount, Rs 2255 crore was spent on bridge construction work.

On the other hand, while targets were set to complete 793 bridge projects, only 473 were completed. Delays in tender calling, errors during inspections, and land issues were blamed for the irregularities in the completion of bridge construction. 

Moreover, the length of around 27 projects/bridges was found to be 15 metre less than the determined dimension. 

“The first compliance audit which we have conducted is regarding the Biju Setu Yojana. In this yojana, a total budgetary provision of Rs 2570 crore was made from 2017 to 21. So, this audit covered it from the year 2017 to 21,” said Vishwanath Singh Jadon, Accountant General.

Meanwhile, it has also been learned from the report that the land acquisition work under BSY is also pending. 

In the audit report, the irregularities and over-expenditure in the construction work of hostels for working women in the state have also been mentioned.

Further, the audit report also mentions the failure in using the fund for institutions meant for children's care and welfare.