Commando school construction delayed due to non-availability of land: CAG

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath arrives at lower house in Lucknow assembly with heavy security in Lucknow.
The Uttar Pradesh government's plan to set up a commando training school (CTS) in Lucknow has been "considerably delayed" due to non-availability of land, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said in its latest report.

The report on 'Performance Audit of Modernisation and Strengthening of Police Forces' by the national auditor was tabled in the state Assembly recently.

"To establish CTS as per detailed estimate/drawing and design, 44.074 hectare land was required, out of which only 16.466 hectare was actually provided. As the land was not available, the department decided to complete the work on phase-I on the available land," the report said.

The report said that the land available for phase-I was also "not sufficient for construction works".

According to the report, the state government had in June 2011 sanctioned the establishment of a CTS in Lucknow at a cost of Rs 139.21 crore, and decided to execute the work in two phases.

In phase-I, the construction of a training block, administrative building, corner watch towers, sand model room, hostel with 200 capacity, four hostels with a capacity of 20 each, a hospital building etc amounting to Rs 70 crore were to be executed by the UP Rajya Nirman Nigam (UPRNN).

Work in the first phase was to be completed by September 2013.

The auditor observed that the required land was not available even for the execution of phase-I work.

Construction of 12 corner watch towers was not taken up for execution, and as high tension electricity lines were not shifted, construction of the residential building (five type- IV and one type-V) was also not possible, it said.

Construction of a hospital building was started, but not completed and was rescheduled to be completed in phase-II.

The UP government in September 2015 sanctioned revised cost of Rs 98.99 crore for the completion of works under phase-I. The funds were released in March 2016.

"The audit noticed that an expenditure of Rs 82.49 crore has been incurred against the sanctioned cost of Rs 70 crore, but the physical progress was 88 per cent (March 2016), even after three years of the scheduled date of completion (September 2013). This phase-I of the CTS is still under execution (September 2016) with a cost overrun of Rs 12.49 crore," the CAG report said.

Furthermore, the works under phase-II -- simulation halls, indoor sports hall, dog kennels, transit hostel, residential buildings, CCTV system, access control system, which are essential for the CTS to attain full functionality have also not been taken up for execution, as the land required for construction of these works is still to be acquired, the auditor said.

In reply, the government stated that construction of works under phase-I have been completed by the executing agency on the available land of 16.466 hectare. Acquisition of 27.576 hectares for phase-II works is in process, it added.

"However, the fact remains that the establishment of CTS has been considerably delayed as land was not available," the CAG said.

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