Relentless in pinpointing financial irregularities in the government's functioning, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has now trained its guns on defence-oriented establishments, like the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Army's ordnance factories.
Inefficiencies in their functioning have cost the national exchequer around Rs1,277 crore - apart from causing huge gaps in the country's war preparedness, the CAG says in a report tabled in Parliament on Thursday.
Apart from this, there was a huge loss due to diversion of prime cantonment land to private builders in cities such as Pune, Kandivili, Panchmarhi and Barrackpore, it says. The defence ministry has been pulled up "for gross mismanagement of land under its possession".
The Indian Navy and Air Force have also come under fire from the CAG for inefficiencies and wastage in several of their projects.
In echoes of the infamous Adarsh housing scandal in Mumbai, the CAG has pointed out that the Defence Estates Service failed to prevent unauthorised construction and running of 36 hotels on old grant sites at Panchmarhi.
Similar cases were reported from Barrackpore Cantonment, where two old grant sites were misused as restaurants and shops despite a shortage of land for military use.