Mughal Road car rallies failed to promote Caravan, Heritage tourism in J&K: CAG

The latest annual report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India ended March 31, 2013 has revealed that despite organising car rallies along the historic Mughal road  the state tourism department has failed to promote caravan and heritage tourism.

The aim of organizing the rallies was to promote Caravan and Heritage tourism along the Mughal road.

For Caravan tourism one of the essential pre-requisite along with specially built vehicles is the presence of sufficient caravan parks in the identified circuits.But despite organising the rally for four years the Caravan parks and other infrastructure had not been created along  the Mughal road even though the project in this regard had been sanctioned in 2010-11 at an estimated cost of 8 crore.

According to the CAG report, the Tourism department organised three car rallies for promotion of Carvan and Heritage tourism along the historic Mughal road during the years 2010-13.

The rallies were organised along the circuit starting from Shopian via Rajouri, Jammu, Kishtwar, Anantnag up to Srinagar on the proposal of a firm along with J&K Bank Ltd as the sponsors.

As the rallies were organised  by the firm and sponsored by the department and J&K Bank Ltd a tripartite agreement was required to be executed for sharing of expenditure. Audit examination of records showed that no such agreement was executed for sharing of expenditure by each with the result the department and the Bank had reimbursed/advanced  excess amount of 8.72 lakh. 42.38 lakh and 39.30 lakh than the estimated expenditure submitted by the firm for Ist, 2nd and 3rd rally respectively.

According to the CAG report, as per terms and conditions of the rallies fixed by the Federation of Motorsports club of India, expenditure on account of boarding and lodging of the participants was to be borne by the organisers out of the entry fees collected from the participants. The department, however, incurred an expenditure of 62.18 lakh on boarding and lodging of participants during 2010-13 irregularly and a liability of 5.78 lakh was pending resulting in undue benefit to the organizing firm.

 As per FMSCI guidelines for 2nd rally cash prizes of 10 lakh were to be distributed but the department distributed cash prizes of 20 lakh resulting in excess expenditure of 10 lakh.

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