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Investigation into the CWG mess – other politicians besides Kalmadi also guilty




The controversy over the expenses made during the Commonwealth Games (and the state of preparation for the Games) had started way before the Games were held; but there was an earnest plea from all the organization bodies (the Organizing Committee, the Delhi Government, the Indian Government) that any muck-raking over the entire preparation and money-looting should wait for the Games to get over. So, soon after the Games was over, the official Government machinery and the Congress Party started avoiding the OC head, Kalmadi, and the Prime Minister also ordered an investigation by a former chief auditor, V K Shunglu. This was in addition to the investigation (or rather, the expense audit) being carried out by the CAG organization (since a huge amount of money was spent on preparing for the Games).
Soon after, the knives were out for Suresh Kalmadi. His associates and he himself were repeatedly raided by the CBI (a bit late though) and a number of his associates have now been arrested. In the eyes of almost everybody, it is just a matter of time when Kalmadi will be arrested and charged with many crimes related to the expenses and misappropriation of funds (the fact that this has not happened till now means that they are finding that proceeding against Kalmadi is not an open and shut case). One consistent representation from Kamadi has been that any action he took was approved by an oversight committee, and that most of the expenditure that was made on the Games was on the infrastructure (which was under the control of the Delhi Government and the Central Government); and his question remains as to why they are not being proceeded against ?

This has been a question for some time now, since there are many questions ? Almost all the projects that were undertaken went way beyond budget, a bridge collapsed, just the renovation work on the Nehru Stadium costs beyond Rs. 900 crore (and this was not building a stadium from scratch, but building on top of an already existing stadium). All the media reports from that time were about cost over-runs, work happening till the last minute, disasters which were covered up urgently (costing more money) and so on. The Indian citizen, who paid for all this extra costing, deserves to know who was responsible for all these oversight and flawed execution problems.
Finally, it seems like there is some sort of reckoning happening. We have not heard from the CAG as yet (except for some leaked reports that claim that the CAG has faulted excessive spending); but the V K Shunglu committee has started coming out with some of their findings (which is not yet released into the public domain, probably the Government is trying to get as much cover-up and explanation in place before the report details are released). These reports blame the leadership – in this case, the Delhi Chief Minister, Mrs. Shiela Dixit, and the Lt. Governor of Delhi (who also represents the Central Government), Tejendra Khanna. Both of these people have been blamed for poor oversight, direct interference in some actions, and along with other Government employees, for huge cost over-runs (read the article on the report):

The V K Shunglu committee probing the Commonwealth Games has put the cost of delays in building the city’s infrastructure at Rs 900 crore, undue gains by contractors at Rs 254 crore and said timely construction of the Barapullah road and Ring Road bypass might have saved Rs 130 crore. In two reports made public on Friday (first reported by TOI in its March 24 edition) the Shunglu panel sharply indicted top city figures Lt Gov Tejendra Khanna, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and a host of senior bureaucrats for cost overruns, favours to select contractors, exaggerated estimates and a staggering waste of public money.
On the CM, the committee said, “Chief minister took personal interest in the planning and execution of these projects. While full credit must be given to the CM for the leadership provided, she also carries the responsibility for decisions taken including those relating to ‘city image’ improvement projects which cost the city dear.” On Khanna, it said, “The responsibility for the various acts of omission and commission which brought ‘undue gains’ to Emaar MGF primarily lies with LG, Shri Tejendra Khanna, ex-officio chairman of DDA (and other DDA officers).”




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