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Updated: August 9, 2011 10:47 IST

CAG pins 700-page medal of shame on Delhi, Centre

Sujay Mehdudia
Comment (18)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta releases the CAG report on the Commonwealth Games 2010 at a news conference in New Delhi on Friday.
PTI Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta releases the CAG report on the Commonwealth Games 2010 at a news conference in New Delhi on Friday.

Artificial siege-like situation served as cover for cost inflation, irregularities during Commonwealth Games

In a severe indictment of the Organising Committee (OC) headed by Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi, the Delhi government and other State and Union agencies, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG) has said hundreds of crores of rupees were wasted because of lax supervision and a deliberately created siege-like situation in the run-up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

In its 700-page audit report on CWG 2010 tabled in Parliament on Friday, the CAG stated: “The modus operandi observed over the entire gamut of activities leading to the conduct of the Games was: inexplicable delays in decision-making, which put pressure on timelines and thereby led to the creation of an artificial or consciously created sense of urgency.”

Providing an insight into the mentality with which the OC, the Delhi government and other agencies were approaching the conduct of games, it said: “Since the target date was immovable, such delays could only be overcome by seeking, and liberally granting, waivers in laid-down governmental procedures. In doing so, contracting procedures became a very obvious casualty. Many contracts were then entertained based on single bids, and in fact, some of them were even awarded on nomination basis.”

“Taking liberties with governmental procedures of the aforementioned kind led to elimination of competition. A conclusion from such action which seems obvious is that this could indeed have even been an intended objective! Eliminating competition led to huge avoidable extra burden on the exchequer,” the CAG said in its report.

It further stated that there was a seven-year window from the award of CWG-2010 to Delhi in November 2003 to its hosting in October 2010, which was not appropriately utilised. “The time window from November 2003 to mid-2006, which could have been effectively used for planning, clearances and approvals, was wasted. The OC itself was registered only in February 2005,” it said.

It said overall planning for the Games, including the general organisation plan, the Games Master Schedule, and the operational plans for different functional areas, was also substantially delayed. So was the detailed planning for state-of-the-art city infrastructure in time for CWG-2010. “The internal control environment and decision-making structures within the OC were highly inadequate. The state of documentation in the OC was so inadequate that we are unable to derive assurance as to either the authenticity or the completeness of records.”

The overlays contracts were signed at exorbitant rates, causing huge financial loss to the OC and the Union government. “Although we cannot fully quantify the true total loss [based on available records], we have, however, come up with indicators of the financial loss in different ways [by inter se comparison of item-wise rates across clusters and vendors as well as rates declared to Customs],” the report said.

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A masterly exercise in methodological discipline. Will it have any practical impact like prosecution of those politicians in power who took the decisions? I do not think so. Indians love their corrupt politicians and keep voting them into power year after year.

from:  Hilary Pais
Posted on: Aug 7, 2011 at 14:01 IST

Now, any person with clear conscience would have resigned from PM post, that too after scam after scam, inaction over inaction, scolding after scolding by SC. It appears that our PM is not mentally sound and his understanding of situations and decision making ability is questionable. Country is expecting actions from him for that he has to change himself or change the people around him.

from:  prasbad
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 22:25 IST

If "the overlays contracts were signed at exorbitant rates, causing huge financial loss to the OC and the Union government" what was the Union government doing about it till this time. If the government did not know about the loot of the money that belongs to the people of this country, it is dereliction of duty. If it knew about it and yet did nothing about it, then it is a very grave matter and people have a right to know why the government did not call a halt to the loot. Manmohan Singh government has much to answer for.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 14:34 IST

At this moment, when pragmatic sense trust the involvement of MMS and Shiela Dixit, the question should be HOW to award PUNISHMENT to these culprits?? What should be the time line of judgement and execution of judgement...In a country when not-so-powerful like Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan and Narayan Dutt Tiwari can evade court orders and still enjoying their good life, expecting court to punish MMS/Kalmadi/Sheila is really unthinkable.

from:  Avinash Baranwal
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 14:17 IST

For those of us who want to read this report in full, it is available for download on the CAG website at www.cag.gov.in. It is under - Products - Audit Reports - Government wise - Union Audit - Performance Audit. Three sections, all of them oozing with well reported rank incompetence, blatantly corrupt and suspicious practices, and absolute audacity. There is enough to bring a government down right here.

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 11:48 IST

All concerned responsible for wasting govt money must be arrested and
punished as per law of the land.

from:  S S Prasad
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 10:06 IST

This CAG report clearly establishes one truth - the Govt is ruled by a mafia as is being feared across the country now .If the Bush admisnistarion was under a conservative mafia in the USA , the MMS Govt in India today is clearly in the hands of a mafia . The arrogance & show of power by some ministers ; their total indifference to the sentimentsof the common man and the repeated failure of the PMO as is evident from the reports on the various scams coming out including this latest CAG report on CWG, proves this to the hilt . So long it was a doubt only , but this CAG report has put the writing on the wall .Thank god we still have institutions like the CAG ; the Supreme Court & media lik The Hindu which still has not succumbed to this Govts misuse of power .Its time ALL the concerned people of India realised this truth and joined hands to fight this menace & save the country .All the more reason why the 'toothless' version of the Govts Lokpal bill must be consigned to the flames and a stronger JANLOKPAL bill be made feasible by the people joining in millions in the Anna Hazare's movement .

from:  Ralph Paul
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 10:02 IST

Is the CAG is competent to release its report on CWG at a press conference? Normally,the CAG report is placed on the Table of the House and the Public Accounts Committee would deal with the irregularities pointed out in the CAG report in consultation with the officials concerned. It would be proper on the part of the Government to come with a statement on this position and if the CAG has exceeded its jurisdiction in releasing it at a press conference, Parliament should decide the further action on such issues.

from:  Venkatesan R
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 09:53 IST

CWG scam was not only a case of blatant corruption but also an international shame which Indian had to face on the run-up to the games. The culprits must be severely punished for demeaning the national honour in front of international community. Moreover, the case of deliberately delaying projects to inflate costs at last moment (and in the name of saving face) are too well-known tricks adopted by the corrupt. The govt also needs to come clean on the appointment of Mr. Kalmadi as the head of Organising Committee.

from:  Sanjay Singh
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 09:24 IST

The quality standards of the Stadiums used for Commonwealth should not go unnoticed. In many cases India did a spectacular job creating such world-class stadiums. The Games too in most part went smoothly. However, by the series of 'fraudulent' acts prior and during these games (including creating and managing faulty Organizational structure), what Sheila Dixit and the Delhi Government have done is to enable this good work go unnoticed. I agree foreign teams, & foreign tourists saw infrastructure mess-up's, and pointed them out (which the media too reported), but let this not outweigh the brilliance which was also to be seen. I however believe that Sheila Dixit and The Delhi Government must be given the harshest punishment possible for the wrong/fraudulent act thus committed. As this can never be righted. Also let not the Indian media say (as Congress is) that CM was not responsible. She was at the helm, & CAG is stating that in obvious terms. Lets give credit for each where due.

from:  Sunit Jang Bahadur
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 09:15 IST

One more medal goes to the Hall of Shame for Congress. As usual they will live in denial and shrugg off all reports as Opposition propoganda. What can Hazare's or CAG's do when the corrupt are immune to all blame? For now we Indias suffer in silence.

from:  Suresh Kumar
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 08:23 IST

The CAG report, after being unveiled by the democratic system is like a silver lining in the cloud for the govt.These type of social issues give an opportunity to challenge the govt. ,in fact the people ?In fact the people are challenging themselves.This must be tackled any how.

from:  Saurabh Shubham
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 07:51 IST

"CAG pins 700-page medal of shame on Delhi, Centre" says it all!. There seems to no more shame left in the rule of Dr. Man Mohan Singh. One wonders how these leaders ever get sleep after massively cheating the trusting poor of this ancient civilization. It is now very clear as never before the reason why the Congress is fighting shy of enacting effective Lokpal bill. I am curious to know the justifications to the day of shame by too cleaver lawyer spokespersons of Congress.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 07:44 IST

Time is cost. Hence, time charts must be adhered to by all means. One session of parliament was wasted without any agreement both by ruling and opposition parties on JPC. Just to expose wrong doings, we are wasting public money. Can we calculate this loss and if so on what basis? Politicians and officials must understand that 1.21 billion Indians expect benefits from democracy and it is not for doing politics for politicians sake.

from:  R.Ganesan.
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 07:05 IST

Greed,avarice and gluttony are some of the attributes that drives our netas today as opposed to honour and justice. It would be very interesting to ponder what made us,the Indians, to elect them to such powerfull positions, from where they could do so much damage.

from:  vijay Sankar
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 06:09 IST

It is in these contexts that the political influence in the functioning of the CBI, the need for an independent authority with 'policing powers' and the power of the Judiciary need urgent affirmative action. While the CAG has indicted the Govt heavily, it has no police powers...and indictments, however damning, are useless if not followed up with punitive action. If the Govt has no-one to fear, it will start a blame game about the ministerial appointments and discredit the CAG, personally if so required for its survival. The Govt could have used this opportunity to shed some leaves and show greener colors, and also gained credibility and political mileage, albeit honestly gained. But No! Assured of public support (garnered through a conveniently wavering and naive public) it will go on fiddling while India sinks I am not in the least unpatriotic, but God forbid that ours should be one of the new World Order that will take the place of the Old Guard (US and the EU) in the near future.

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 06:03 IST

This is like beating the dead snake! What is the use doing post mortem and saying that a person is dead. I do not mean to undervalue CAG's work and exposure of the scam. I mean if our government is actually working it should have caught these things well in advance and prevented the loss of tax money. It is obvious our government is not working at all from this scam and so many other scams! So why do Sibals and Digvijays and Chidambarams and Dr.JPs cry that Jan Lokpal would be a parallel government when there is no government at all!! Where is the government for Jan Lokpal to run parallel to it. Jan Lokpal would be the only government once established. I don't understand their paradoxical reasoning against the Jan Lokpal.

from:  Siva Ramaswami
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 05:10 IST

Enough of this shenanigans. Now its forward and onwards to 2020 olympic bids and new contorversies.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Aug 6, 2011 at 04:01 IST
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