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Updated: August 6, 2011 11:46 IST

CAG: consultants selection for beautification project arbitrary

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
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QUESTIONS REMAIN: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit after a Cabinet meeting on the CAG report on Commonwealth Games, in New Delhi on Friday.
QUESTIONS REMAIN: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit after a Cabinet meeting on the CAG report on Commonwealth Games, in New Delhi on Friday.

In award of works, there was a wasteful expenditure of over Rs. 100 crore

The Performance Audit Report of the Commonwealth Games 2010, released by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India on Friday, has indicted Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and the Delhi government for causing losses running into hundreds of crores to the exchequer.

Addressing a press conference here, Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta said: “In our view, the street-scaping and beautification project was ill-conceived and ill-planned, without a broad overarching vision and perspective of how this would impact urban design and development. The project was largely a consultant-driven project, with the selection of consultants being arbitrary and non-transparent, and without any common design guidelines and targeted budgetary estimates.”

Ms. Gupta said, “This resulted in adoption of richer specifications in an arbitrary and inconsistent manner in different packages. We found the average awarded works for street-scaping and beautification works of Rs. 4.8 crore/km to be exorbitant with a total estimated wasteful expenditure of more than Rs. 100 crore.”

The CAG, while acknowledging the “marked improvement in illumination levels of Delhi roads brought about by the implementation of the street lighting project,” however, criticised the decision to use imported luminaries on selected ‘A' category of roads, saying it was “not based on technical parameters.” Noting that this decision was “taken with the active involvement of the CM,” the CAG said it “resulted in avoidable expenditure of more than Rs.30 crore.”

Further, “the procurement price of imported luminaries was far higher than the fair prices.” Also, Ms. Gupta said, “We found restrictive tendering conditions imposed by the Public Works Department, as well as a deficient ‘design-based' tendering approach followed by the New Delhi Municipal Council.”

In a similar vein, the CAG, while acknowledging the improvement brought to the look of Delhi by the consistent implementation of the road signage project, “found that restrictive tendering conditions were imposed, ensuring sharing of signage works between two major sheet manufacturers.” Subsequently, “designs for the signage were also revised, with several extra and substituted items of dubious utility.”

As for the infrastructure projects, Ms. Gupta said: “We reviewed seven key road and flyover projects linked to the Commonwealth Games. Adoption of a higher rate of profit and overhead charges led to higher cost baselines for potential bidders. We also found irregularities in award of some projects, including consideration of a separate letter quoting a lump sum amount and use of correction fluid in tender documents.”

The CAG was critical of the handling of the “project for renovation and restoration of Connaught Place in time for the Games” and said it was “plagued by undue delays.”

“The original estimated cost of Rs. 76 crore went up nearly nine-fold. The NDMC chose not to follow the approach of dividing the project into manageable packages, so organised as to minimise traffic disruption across the whole of CP. Instead, the project was divided into packages spanning the whole of CP, with all activities getting around the same time. Apart from a pilot project, this project remained incomplete till the time of the Games.”

Dikshits response

In her response, Ms. Dikshit said: “The CAG report has been tabled in Parliament. We are yet to get a copy. But we want to assure that when it goes to the Public Accounts Committee, then in accordance with the well-established practice, if our response is sought on any issue, we will cooperate with them fully and completely.”

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What is going on in india is matter of serious concern.Does our constitution provide the right to these corrupt politician who can say what they like about the report of CAG? They also run the CBI as per their choice.I always thought that in today's indian politics is there any politician who is really clean.I never saw any priminister in indian history who is as week as our current priminister.He even does not have the power to ask his minister to step down from their post, This simply shows that he is just only a rubber stamp.You take any scam during the regime of UPA-II, first of all our PM must resign because this was not possible without the consent of PM and if it is so than that means he was not aware about what is happening in the govt.How a party can run who have no leader. Big fishes were still hiding behind the curtain, Now this is the responsibility of judiciary to give justice to the people of indian and put the corrupt behind the bar.

from:  Dushyant
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 15:13 IST

The pivot for all the wrong-doings is akin to raising the blood pressure. The deadline having been set, it became a slogan for bending the rules, favoring the few and reaping the harvest towards undue enrichment of the select circle. We should also take cognizance of the fact that the media's seemingly unethical obsession with leaked government documents, including draft audit inputs, did serve the Public Purpose of exposing the 'ugly' aspects. Mrs.Dixit's response is defensive and circumlocutory and is, therefore not responsive. Good governance has gone into hiding.

from:  Soundararajan Srinivasa
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 10:46 IST

It is a public looting that is taking place by the Congress dispensation. In this connection, Shashi Tharoor also exploited the CWG money and hence he should be tried and sentenced to jail in the same manner like the Raja, Kanimozhi et al. At the same time, is the CBI, the Congress, BJP are all partisan in their approach towards the wrong doers. Why is that the corporate giants the Ambanis, though they are also indicted in the CAGI report are left out? Nobody is raising this issue - neither the media nor the political parties with the exception of the Communists. And so is Ratan Tata who is also the beneficiary in the 2G Scam. I am afraid that in due course of time, due to the high profile nature of the scam, attempts will be made to dilute the case and leave the malefactors go scottfree like the Quattracchi, Chandraswamy under the influence of Sonia Gandhi.

from:  M.S.Chagla
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 10:37 IST
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