Jammu: Giving a warning to the Jammu and Kashmir, A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report has criticized Omar Abdullah government for 90 percent shortfall in the coverage of rural household electricity connections despite spending an amount of Rs 499.69 crore for the exercise.

The CAG has warned the state that it would lose not only the benefit of 90 percent capital subsidy from the Centre, but also have to repay the loan along with its interest.

There is a huge shortfall of 90 percent in the coverage of rural household connections, including BPL households, despite an expenditure of Rs 499.69 crore in last five years ending March 2011, the CAG report said.

The objective to provide electricity to all households within the stipulated time-frame, including coverage of all BPL households, in rural areas could not be achieved, it said.

The National Electricity Policy lays down the key objective of developing power sector and supplying electricity to all areas including rural areas through joint efforts of the Central and state governments.

Accordingly, the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana was launched in April 2006, with the aim of providing electricity to all households in five years. Under the Yojana, the Centre provided 90 percent capital subsidy to the Jammu and Kashmir government.

As per the CAG report, the target of 30, 3682 households, including 96, 381 BPL homes, was kept for coverage under the Yojana for electrification with target coverage of 8,329 villages and 12,530 intensive electrified villages sanctioned between 2006 and 2009 at a cost of Rs 821.62 crore.

While there was 100 percent shortfall in Budgam, Jammu, Baramulla, Pulwama, Anantnag, Rajouri and Poonch districts, 99 percent and 97 percent shortfall was seen in Srinagar and Udhampur districts, the CAG said.

There has been 'nil' achievement in reaching the targets in Baramulla, Pulwama, Doda, Rajouri and Poonch districts despite allotment of funds during 2009-10 and 2010-11, the CAG report said.

Fourteen power projects covering the entire state were sanctioned between 2005 and 2009. These projects were scheduled to be completed by the end of March, 2010. The projects in 14 districts were entrusted to NHPC Ltd (seven districts) and Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (seven district), the report revealed.

Evidently the pace of implementation of these projects has been tardy with huge areas yet to be covered. Year-wise details of coverage of households by the implementing agencies (NHPC and JKSPDC), though called for (August 2011), were not intimated (September 2011), the CAG said.

Apart from this, inherent contradiction existed in the data furnished by the planning wing of the Power Department depicted in its table, it said.

"Reasons for such variation, though called for (October 2011), were not furnished. The discrepancies in the data render the claim of achievements doubtful," the CAG report said.

Neither had any franchisee been engaged for management of the rural distribution network nor any project completed within the implementation period of two years, it said.

(JPN/Agencies)