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Maha Kumbh Mela: CAG slams UP govt for mismanagement

Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has criticised the Uttar Pradesh government for financial mismanagement, absence of co-ordination between different departments and lack of planning in traffic management during last year’s Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. In the report tabled in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday, CAG said, ‘The planning of Maha Kumbh was not based on scientific parameters and there was absence of co-ordination between different departments and institutions as no detailed project report was prepared.’

‘The demand made from the government of India was not realistic and UP ended up spending only one per cent of the entire expenditure of Maha Kumbh,’ the report said, noting that the state used Rs 800 crore of the additional central fund in paying for the works already undertaken by it. The process of receiving funds was very complex and there was no nodal officer to provide proper track of the finances of Mela, the report said, adding instances of delay in release of funds have also come to the light in which the quality has been compromised and works were also not started in time.

‘Tenders were invited, contracts awarded and construction works started even before technical sanction of works and there was lack of transparency and competition in tenders and contracts,’ the report pointed out. ‘Most of the Mela works were not completed till 14 January, 2013 (when the Mela started) and construction works which were not required were also done through the Mela funds,’ the report said. The CAG has also made an adverse comment on the planning for managing huge traffic in the Mela on the main bathing day on Mauni Amawasya on February 10. Several lives were lost in a stampede at the Allahabad railway station on that day.

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