New Delhi: An approval accorded by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in February 2009 to beef up security of all coastal and offshore naval assets within a period of three years in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks was “diluted” due to delays in creating the enabling framework, national auditor CAG said Tuesday.
It said Fast Interception Crafts (FICs) were inducted into the Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) with a delay of 13 to 61 months, adding the infrastructure envisaged by the CCS was not available till June last at a few naval ports, according to the report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
The report was tabled in Parliament Tuesday.
“The urgency in CCS’s sanction (February 2009) following the 26/11 terror attack for setting up a maritime force (Sagar Prahari Bal, SPB)) within a period of three years so as to provide security to all coastal and offshore naval assets, was diluted due to delays in creating the enabling setup (Fast Interception Crafts, FICs, and manpower infrastructure),” the CAG said in a press statement.
It said, “FICs were inducted into SPB with a delay of 13 to 61 months, (and) infrastructure for basing of FICs/ SPB was still (June 2021) not available at a few naval ports envisaged in the CCS’s sanction (February 2009) and manpower deployment at the officers’ level was deficient.”
The Indian security establishment initiated a series of measures to strengthen India’s coastal security after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which over 166 people, including 28 foreigners from 10 nations, were killed by a group of Pakistani terrorists.
“The operational availability and exploitation of FICs since their induction at designated ports were sub-optimal,” the CAG said.
In another observation, the CAG said Boost Gas Turbines (BGTs) were held in excess of the quantity prescribed as per the extant naval instructions.
“The imminent decommissioning of the ships and stock position were not considered while placing orders for procurement of BGTs. This resulted in excess holding of the newly procured BGTs worth Rs 213.96 crore,” it said.
The CAG said repair and overhaul of a naval helicopter was inordinately delayed due to time taken in accordance with Approval in Principle (AIP) by the Defence Ministry (260 weeks) and conclusion of contract (95 weeks).
It said this resulted in the helicopter being grounded for over 10 years.
In another observation, the CAG said the Chief Engineer (Navy) in Mumbai concluded a contract for construction of a security wall around defence land, which was not free from encroachment.
As a result, the contract was rescinded in June 2017 after incurring an expenditure of Rs 2.19 crore, it said.
The CAG also examined execution of certain work by the IAF involving an expenditure of Rs 8,922 crore during the period 2014-15 to 2018-19.
The CAG said it assessed whether the planning and execution of work services was able to achieve quality output in a timely manner and also whether the tendering process in work services was able to ensure quality, optimum price and fair play.
“The approval of annual major works programme got significantly delayed in each year during the last five years which in turn had an adverse effect on the chain of sanctioning, tendering and execution of works,” it said.
The CAG also gave specific examples of deviations from laid down rules.
“In one case, relating to runway works, award of work to an ineligible contractor led to premature failure of the runway, which in turn required fresh sanctioning and execution of work through another contractor for the same work.
“Thus, fresh runway resurfacing at the AF station was executed at a cost of Rs 37.40 crore within a span of six years instead of the prescribed period of 10-12 years,” it said.
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