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Irregularities in Forest Department’s Root Stock Scheme in Haveri

Irregularities Unearthed In Forest Department's Root Stock Scheme In Haveri Division

Haveri: Auditors uncovered irregularities totaling over Rs 3.8 crore in the root stock scheme within the Haveri division of the forest department for the fiscal years 2022-23 and 2023-24. The audit, conducted by the office of the principal accountant general of Karnataka, culminated in a report sent to the forest department on April 11, 2024, seeking a response within a specified timeframe.


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Scope of Irregularities

Major discrepancies were identified in the Haveri, Ranebennur, and Hangal sub-divisions. Violations of the Karnataka Transparency Public Procurement (KTPP) Act were highlighted in the report. The act mandates that works costing over Rs 5 lakh should be tendered through an e-procurement platform. However, it was observed that estimates for barbed wire fencing with RCC pillars, amounting to Rs 5.8 crore, were split into 16 sanctioned estimates below Rs 50 lakh each to evade higher-level scrutiny, a clear violation of codal provisions.

#KTPPAct #ProcurementIrregularities #ViolationofCodalProvisions

Audit Findings

Expenditure and revenue accounts of DCF, Haveri, for the period 2021-22 to 2022-23, were audited, revealing various irregularities. These included discrepancies in barbed wire fencing execution, lack of monitoring and quality control, incorrect items allocation, substandard work, excess payments, and irregularities in afforestation charges, totaling Rs 3.8 crore.

#AuditReport #ExpenditureIrregularities #QualityControlIssues

Lack of Response and Call for Action

The forest division failed to respond to the audit objections, prompting authorities to recommend stern action against violators. Despite this, S Balakrishna, deputy conservator of forest-territorial, Haveri, mentioned that clarifications were provided for the objections raised and expressed hope for their acceptance by AG authorities.

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