Panel raps MHA, Delhi Police over CCTV project
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), headed by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, also found large-scale irregularities in leave travel concession (LTC) availed by Delhi Police personnel and sought a vigilance enquiry into it in an expedited manner.
"The committee is aghast to note that the CCTV surveillance system could not be made operational due to non-receipt of sufficient quantity of Common Wealth Games (2010) items for three years between July 2012 and June 2015," it said in a report presented to the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
The panel said it was "dismayed" that while leftover CWG equipment lay idle for so many years, the Delhi Police procured CCTVs causing double loss to the government exchequer.
"The audit observed that the Delhi Police and the Ministry of Home Affairs failed to assess and determine the technical requirement for CCTV surveillance systems in high-security areas, which resulted in a CCTV surveillance project awarded in February 2013 for New Delhi and central districts remaining incomplete as of October 2017, despite an expenditure of Rs 42.94 crore," the panel said.
The project was approved by the Home Ministry to use 1,888 surplus CCTV cameras and associated equipment leftover from the CWG items in the surveillance system of the Delhi Police across its policing jurisdiction to monitor and resolve crimes and address security challenges.
The contract for supply, installation and commissioning of the CCTV surveillance system in high-security areas here was awarded to the Electronics Corporation of India Limited in February 2013.
It was to be completed within 150 days of receipt of road cutting permission from civic agencies for the respective sites.
The PAC has also found that employees in some offices in Delhi Police submitted LTC claims with inflated air fares in violation of government orders.
"These were passed without due scrutiny resulting in irregular reimbursement amounting to Rs 2.56 crore to 435 employees," it said.
The committee noted that the government of India has permitted all employees, including non-entitled employees, to travel by Air India to the northeast and by any airline to Jammu and Kashmir on LTC in 2008 and 2010, and the facility was extended from time-to-time.
The air tickets for travel on LTC were to be purchased either directly from the airlines at booking counters, through their websites or by utilising the services of authorised travel agents.
"The committee observed that on scrutiny of travel details of 1,196 employees of the Delhi Police, it was found that in case of 435 employees, air tickets had neither been directly purchased from the airline nor from the authorised travel agents," the report said.
It said airfare amounting to Rs 2.56 crore claimed by these employees and reimbursed by the Delhi Police was also higher than the cost of tickets shown on the website of airlines and charged from these employees. These employees had not submitted original tickets of the airline and the airfares claimed "appeared to be inflated", the report noted.
However, the claims were allowed by the authorities concerned without exercise of due diligence and without ensuring compliance with the extant instructions, the panel said.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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