The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has flayed the Kerala port
department for irregularities in the installation of a solar power system and a
host of purchases made at the Directorate of Ports and observed that the
director had misled the government through misrepresentation of facts.
The report on the economic sector for 2016, tabled in the state Assembly on
august 8, says that nine out of the 11 solar systems installed at port offices
spending Rs 82 lakh, were not functioning.
The granted sanction for renovating
the Kodungalloor signal station at a cost of Rs 56.21 lakh to address space
constraints in the port and flooding during high tide there.
The director of the Ports department diverted the sanctioned funds to
construct a conference hall on the same premises without securing government
sanction. He obtained a revised administrative sanction saying that the funds
were used for renovating the signal station. “Thus, the director misled the
government through misrepresentation of facts and executed an unauthorised work
diverting the fund sanctioned for another work,” the report says.
Construction of the office building for the directorate at Valiyathura for
Rs.93 crore here has also drawn flak of the CAG. The CAG said it found that the
building was constructed within 30 metres of the High Tide Line on the seashore
and subjected to heavy winds and saline atmosphere.
This is in clear violation of the Public Works Department Manual which
states that the site selected for a building should be most advantageous for
the intended purpose, have a suitable neighbourhood and should not be exposed
to heavy winds without protection. All such norms have been ignored, the report
Procurement of steel furniture, computer and other electronic equipment for
the directorate too has been found to be made in violation of the provisions of
the Kerala Financial Code.
Liquidated damages to the tune of Rs 47 lakh owing to the delay in
commissioning the container handling crane procured for the Kollam port was not
levied from the supplier.
The report has also cited irregularities in the regulation of houseboats
and allotment and utilisation of industrial plots too during the audit period.