Lucknow: In additional trouble for the Uttar Pradesh government which is under the scanner for the alleged NRHM scam, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed out serious lapses in construction works, procurement of equipment and medicines by the state health department.

The CAG report said there was inflated expenditure and non-utilisation of Rs 1,243.63 crore by the health department as while preparing the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-2012), provisions of preparation of the budget were not followed.

The anomalies in funds occurred as the plan of action for procurement of equipment, major construction works and fixtures was not finalised, the report said.

"With a view to provide specialised medical services to the people, the government decided to upgrade health facilities in urban areas during the Eleventh Plan (2007-12) and a sum of Rs 4,312 crore was spent upto 2010," it said.

The report stated that the government in 2007-08 sanctioned Rs 147.27 crore for procurement of advance medical devices like CT scans, C-arm Image Intensifier, regents and X-ray films.

"Pending the completion of the procurement process, Director General Medical and Health Services deposited the amount in the PLA of CSM Medical University," it said.

However, before the procurement process could be completed, the government froze the unspent balance of Rs 147.27 crore of the PLA and DGHMS transferred the amount to the consolidated fund of the state.

"The non-finalisation of the purchase process and transfer of unspent balance of PLA to the consolidated fund inflated the expenditure during 2007-08. Besides, various activities of procurement of advanced medical devices under the Eleventh Plan suffered a setback," the report said.

The CAG report pointed out that the state government decided to construct seven 100 bedded combined hospitals at an estimated cost of Rs 91.92 crore and released Rs 88.55 crore to the construction agencies for completion of work between December 2007 and October 2009, which was extended till December 2010.

"None of these hospitals were completed by the target date. The works were incomplete to the extent of 15 per cent to 65 per cent and an expenditure of Rs 53.25 crore had been incurred as of November 2010," the report said.

Similarly, an expenditure of Rs 38.01 crore was incurred on 300 bedded hospitals in Faizabad and Mirzapur where 40 per cent and 44 per cent works were lying incomplete, it said.

Though land was not available for construction of a children's hospital in Lucknow and TB-cum-general hospital at Gorakhpur, Rs 17 crore was transferred to the construction agency.

"Due to improper planning and ineffective monitoring, the civil works of three trauma centres were incomplete and two completed centres could not be made functional due to non-posting of medical staff. The controlling officer purchased equipment worth Rs 2.57 crore which were not immediately required," the report said.

It said the government's purchase policy as in April 2004 prohibited DGHMS to purchase medicines under rate contracts.

The Employees State Insurance had a rate contract of Rs 207.41 per vial with two companies for Anti-Rabies Vaccine for the period from September 2005 to August 2007. Despite this, DGHMS invited tenders and placed order for supply of nine lakh vials at the rate of Rs 247.38, resulting in extra payment of Rs 3.6 crore.

The CAG report also pointed out 11 per cent to 77 per cent shortage in various cadres of medical staff which adversely impacted the health department's ability to cater to the medical needs of the people.

The Uttar Pradesh government has been facing criticism for alleged massive financial irregularities in the National Rural Health Mission and the apparently related suspected murders of three senior health officials.

The issue created a furore in the state legislature on Monday with opposition parties demanding resignation of Chief Minister Mayawati and a CBI probe into the matter as they staged a walkout in the Assembly.

(Agencies)