How Money Meant for Irrigation Disappeared

A few days ago we wrote about the government’s new economic policy. It came as good news to us, waiting for something to boost the economy and recharge the process of development. However, what we saw in the newspaper today is quite disappointing, no, quite depressing. What is depressing is this:

Around Rs 200,000 million has gone missing from the government’s allocation for irrigation. Now let us explain. Most of India face shortage of water and a drought is usual during the summer months leading to famines and extreme misery for farmers. The irrigation department was supposed to build dams and canals for the above amount so that farmers can cultivate throughout the year. It has been found now that Rs 200,000 million was given but no dams and canals were built. Then where did the money go? Did it disappear like a stream in the desert? Obviously it went into the pockets of contractors and bureaucrats. It’s only now it has been found out that a certain minister had approved several projects which have not yet been completed. What is more hurting is that some projects have been given additional funds without showing the required progress in construction.

So that’s the depressing news. Awful isn’t it? How can we be upbeat when such incidents are brought to our attention? The warning signs had appeared long ago when an official of the irrigation department had pointed out that the minister had signed on projects without the required aapprovals. Why wasn’t any action taken at that time? Will they nail the real culprits? We can only wait and watch as the story unfolds.