Jaipur: Crores of rupees meant for mitigating environmental and health hazards in mining areas have quietly found its way in infrastructure construction and related work in the state.
The astonishing fact has been brought to fore in a report prepared by Mine Labour Protection Campaign (MLPC),a trust working for welfare of mine labourers,on a scrutiny of the accounts of the Rajasthan Environment and Health Administrative Board (REHAB).
REHAB is a body comprising five departments of the state government and was created for management of the environment and healthcare in mining areas on December 24,2010.The members are principal secretaries of the departments of finance,environment,health,mines besides three professionals as non-official members.
According to the report,till the beginning of 2013-14,a sum of Rs 284.64 crore was available with REHAB,which gets its funds from environment cess collected from lessees of mines. Of this,the board till February 11,2013 had sanctioned Rs 229.46 crore,earmarking 43% for construction of roads and 11% for sewerage treatment plants and drainage work that were announced as part of the annual budget.
The board,report says,has spent only Rs 69.67 crore and most of it was used for work like railwayline shifting,drainage,sewerage treatment plant,water work projects and for bio-medical waste management.
The worst performer was the medical department which could utilize only half of Rs 25.61 crore sanctioned to it in 2011-12,surrendering the rest.It again returned the entire Rs 16.69 crore in 2012-13 on grounds of lack of time to spend it, the report further added.
IN THE PITS…
Till the beginning of 2013-14,284.64 crore was available with Rehab,which is funded from environment cess collected from mine lessees Rehab has spent only 69.67 crore and most of it was used for railwayline shifting,drainage,sewerage treatment plant,water work projects The board has not met since May 2013,while it is supposed to meet at least once in six months.Even the annual financial and performance audit has not happened till date