A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the performance of the public undertakings of the Delhi government has come down heavily on the Department of Transport (DOT), as Delhi Transport Corporation incurs huge losses and DTIDC delays other transport projects.
The 2019 report notes the “failure” of Delhi Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation (DTIDC) in establishing bus terminals at Dwarka and Narela – the north and south entry points of Delhi.
“Even after the lapse of more than 20 years of the Supreme Court directions to establish ISBTs at North and South West entry points of Delhi, ISBTs at Dwarka and Narela could not be established,” the report said.
“The objective of reducing air pollution in GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) by establishing these two ISBTs could not be achieved as 516 and 1,243 inter-state diesel operated buses arriving from Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh continue to ply to/from ISBTs at Sarai Kale Khan and Kashmere Gate respectively, on daily trip basis,” it added.
The report was tabled in the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday, December 3, a day after the nation’s auditing agency had said in another of its report, that the Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government maintained a revenue surplus over the last five years from 2013-14 to 2017-18.
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The two reports – one auditing the state finances and the other reviewing the performance of the public undertakings – have been released at a time when the national capital is set to go for Assembly elections in the coming months. The term of the AAP-led government ends in February 2020.
“Due to failure of the Delhi Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited to provide work fronts timely, the upgradation work of ISBT Kashmere Gate could not be completed even after more than eight years of stipulated completion date, resulting in raising of claims of Rs.113.80 crore by contractor and DIMTS,” CAG said, while rapping the transport agency.
“In the case of Narela ISBT, after releasing payment of ₹10.30 crore to DDA (Delhi Development Authority), the land for establishment of the ISBT has not yet been finalised even after the lapse of 11 years,” the report added.
DTIDC was established in August 2010 by GNCTD to cater to the ever increasing need of operation, management and maintenance of ISBTs, bus stands and depots, besides taking the responsibility of creation, development, financing and maintenance of the transport infrastructure.
Owing to the slow progress of the projects undertaken by DTIDC, the audit agency has proposed to hand over the projects to other agency or the Public Works Department (PWD).
“Government may review whether the Corporation needs to continue to exist especially when the mandate with which the Corporation was set up has not served the intended purpose,” CAG said.
Speaking over the performance of the public undertakings, major losses were incurred by the Delhi Transport Corporation to the tune of Rs. 3,843.2 crore as per the latest finalised accounts, according to the report.
“Out of the 13 PSUs [excluding the five power companies], five PSUs (public sector undertakings) earned profit of Rs. 70.32 crore and four PSUs incurred [total] losses of Rs. 3,859.78 crore [of which losses of DTC constituted the majority] and four PSUs had marginal profit/loss,” it said.
However, rather than being worried over the issues plaguing the state, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who’s eyeing for a win in the upcoming 2020 Assembly elections, called the AAP government “the most honest in India’s history” following the CAG report.
“We are ending these five years with a clean chit from CBI, ED (Enforcement Directorate), Income Tax and the judiciary. No other government has been scrutinised as much as ours. This has proved that it is the most honest government in India’s history,” Kejriwal said while addressing the house.