The BJP in Odisha took a dig at the State government over the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) over its failure in utilisaing Central funds meant for irrigation projects.
“The Odisha government is always complaining of the Centre’s neglect. However, as per the CAG report, the State government was not able to use around Rs 843 crore of Central funds for the Irrigation sector between 2014 and 2020. It indicates the inefficiency of the State government ,” alleged president of BJP Krushak Morcha, Pradip Purohit on Saturday.
Purohit also hit out at the ‘inefficient officials and engineers’ of the State for the non-utilisation of funds.
“This is an anti-farmer government and it made no efforts to provide irrigation facilities for agriculture,” he said.
The CAG in its report had detected several deficiencies in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the projects.
Though the State government had initiated various irrigation projects at a considerable cost in order to provide adequate water supply for farming, it was, however, noticed that the objective was not fulfilled and this deprives farmers of irrigation facilities, the CAG said in its report.
“Most of the irrigation projects have not been completed in time and the cost of construction has increased 4,000 to 5,000 times than the initial estimates. Many industries are drawing water from rivers, but they are not making any payment. The government authorities are also not putting any pressure on them,” rued Purohit.
“As compared to other states, the monthly income of the farmers in Odisha is considerably low. The State government has completely failed in providing irrigation facility to the farmers,” said Purohit, adding that around 2,00,000 farmers could not sell their paddy due to the abrupt closure of mandis.
The BJP leader demanded the arrest of the dishonest millers who have procured paddy on less than the minimum support price.
“Due to some inefficient and corrupt officials, the Central funds are not getting utilised and various projects are not getting completed within the stipulated period. Stern action should be taken against the erring officials,” said Purohit.