CAG raps Kolkata Port for dredging deficiencies

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has rapped the Kolkata Port Trust, rechristened as the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, for its dredging deficiencies that may have resulted in a loss of Rs 278.61 crore during the 2013-2018 period.

The CAG said it was seen that a quantum of 81.68 million cubic metre (MM3) was dredged during the period from 2013-14 to 2018-19, involving an expenditure of Rs 1,857.37 crore.

“A quantum of 12.25 MM3 of dredged material happened to come back into the shipping channel”, considering a rate of 15 per cent recirculation, the auditor said.

It increased “the cost by Rs 278.61 crore by KoPT,” the CAG said in a report submitted to the government recently.

The auditor also said the KoPT did not have any strategic plan, enumerating the broad guidelines to be followed for dredging from time to time.

The CAG also highlighted deficiencies in the execution of dredging contract with the Dredging Corporation of India Ltd (DCIL).

“The target depths in the dredging contracts were reduced with reference to the desired or required depth mainly due to underperformance of the DCIL dredgers,” the auditor said.