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Updated: August 4, 2011 09:30 IST

‘Delhi government caused loss of hundreds of crores’

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
Comment (17)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in New Delhi on Wednesday. The CAG has indicted Ms. Dikshit and a few Delhi Ministers in its Performance Audit Report on the Commonwealth Games. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in New Delhi on Wednesday. The CAG has indicted Ms. Dikshit and a few Delhi Ministers in its Performance Audit Report on the Commonwealth Games. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Ill-conceived, ill-planned projects, says CAG; We have done no wrong: Sheila Dikshit

The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India has indicted the Delhi government, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and a few Delhi Ministers in its Performance Audit Report on Commonwealth Games-2010. The report is expected to be tabled in the ongoing Parliament session.

The report has held the Delhi government responsible for causing a loss of hundreds of crores by undertaking “ill-conceived and ill-planned” projects, selecting consultants in an “arbitrary and non-transparent manner” and executing contracts at “exorbitant” rates.

It also points to avoidable use of very expensive material in street-scaping and street lighting as a cause for the losses.

Ms. Dikshit, however, claimed that her government had “not done anything wrong” and that it acted only in the “national interest.” She said the government had delivered on the responsibilities entrusted to it.

Street-scaping

In its section on “street-scaping and beautification of roads,” the CAG said while the government undertook the works to improve “aesthetics” before the Games, the project was “ill-conceived and ill-planned, without a broad overarching vision and perspective of how this would impact urban design and development.”

Contracts were given at exorbitant average costs of Rs. 4.8 crore/km and were “awarded and executed in an ad hoc and arbitrary manner,” leading to “waste of public funds totalling Rs.101.02 crore.” The consultants were also paid an exorbitant average cost of Rs. 12.5 lakh/km.

Further, “adoption of richer specifications in an arbitrary and inconsistent manner” led to an “avoidable cost of Rs. 51.33 crore.”

On modernisation of the street lighting system, the report said the project was executed on around 800 km of Delhi roads at a tendered cost of Rs.286 crore. “The decision on use of imported luminaries was taken with the approval of the CM” and “imported luminaries were procured at a far higher cost than the indigenous luminaries, leading to avoidable extra expenditure of Rs.31.07 crore.”

Roads, bridges

The CAG took seven of the 25 road and bridges projects for review and found that in all of them, the Contractor's Profit and Overhead Charges (CPOH) were 37.5 per cent against 15 per cent stipulated by the Central Public Works Department. This raised the justified cost of these projects by Rs. 352.47 crore.

On renovation of Connaught Place, which was incomplete at the time of the Games, the report said the original estimated cost of Rs.76 crore (as of May 2005) went up nearly nine-fold to Rs. 671 crore by July 2007, with a huge increase in scope of work.

With so many scams, which the ruling party members and suppporters mostly involved in directly or indirectly, and the opposition too can in no way be fully exonerated, the PM being mostly a 'silent or mute' spectator and not able to act dissisively, there's an urgent need to dissolve the current Loksabha and elect a new government with a fresh mandate and openness to tackle many of the critical issues facing the Nation. As is constituted, the current Loksabha is not even able to pass a 'no confidence' motion to facilitate new elections. The Hindu and like minded media channels would render a yeoman service to the Nation if they pool their resources and influence to get the current parliament dissolved and give a chance to the citizens to elect a new parliament as early as can be without waiting for the expiration of the remaining period of the Loksabha. Let us hope the people at large use the opporunity to elect their representatives wisely.

from:  DR. K Ramamurthy
Posted on: Aug 5, 2011 at 01:03 IST

The Only solution is to bring a strong Jan Lokpal bill.

from:  Ravi Shankar
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 18:35 IST

Scam after scam, corruption after corruption, i wonder what the Congress Govt. at the Centre is doing. How long are they going to test the patience of the general public? Are they waiting for the kind of movement in Arab countries? It's high time for the Centre to pull up the sock and come clean.

from:  pingmi
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 13:36 IST

And we (the commoners) are supposed to believe that they (the politicians) know about 'National Interest'? As we most certainly believe that it's all (once again, all) about their self-interest (ofcourse exceptions are there, but they are just exceptions). I am also extremely tired, as i have been hearing it for over 30 conscious (politically conscious) years, and the Nation for over 60, that let the Law (in this specific case, 'Let the CAG Report be tabled in Parliament') take it's course. That's exactly the reason why we need a Jan Lokpal Bill endorsed, and active, as once a few of these Senior Politicians are convicted for their 'dacoitry', and severely punished for those crimes, only then will such glib go out of their dictionary.

from:  Sunit Jang Bahadur
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 09:04 IST

Yes it is all in national interest if the Congress squanders money. After all without Congress where will India be? We will be still ruled by the British. The Congress by using its name has cheated India of its tryst with destiny. Sheila Dixit and others care for themselves and for the honchos of the Congress Party and divert funds that could help common man into the coffers of foreign banks. There is no accountability and these reports will be only an eye wash since the CAG can do nothing to these people. Unfortunately for India people have to put up with this.

from:  S.Balaksrishnan
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 08:54 IST

This was known to all.But is the CM not in jail? She must have given a share to higher ups in the Centre.The CWG was staged with the primary aim of making money illegally.

from:  S N Iyer
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 08:49 IST

Shameful act by the govt. In the country where poor's are geting poorer the widening gap is hinting the new 'rervolution' in our scam-full India.

from:  Nikhil
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 08:49 IST

I sometimes wonder why ministers in the Govt take least interest in optimizing the use of the resources. At least in their domain if they can plan well and come up with measures to implement the same, our country would be a far more better place to live in Is it only money making that is the impetus for governance?

from:  Sreerag
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 08:44 IST

The Judges and AGs are now becoming superheros. While I am all for avoiding waste and preventing corruption, misuse of judiciary and auditing offices to pass arbitrary comments about public work is going to damage the quality of work. How did the Rich specification result in waste. Was a higher standard used meant to enhance the life of the completed work or was it done with hidden intention to favour contractors or get any kick back or to help any particular supplier. Please do not do character assassination of politicians and honest engineers and technicians and specification writers. Especially if they acted to improve quality of work. Corruption should be fought strongly but do not do it the wrong way. Auditors without any knowledge about emerging technologies can do harm the country. Institute technical auditing process. Do value engineering and life cycle analysis.

from:  Kuriakose Varkey
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 08:42 IST

Oh....shocking and incredible inflation of estimates...this is really showing what abysmal level our governance has come to. Undoubtedly an independent enquiry should be done on Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Government....She has to resign and immediately the compnaies being given contracts should be questioned. This is raising serious doubts on the Private construction players....and nexus with governement.

from:  Abhi
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 08:24 IST

The people who are responsible must be punished.

from:  ssprasad
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 07:45 IST

If Yeddurappa has resigned then Shiela Dikshit needs to resign too.

from:  Santosh
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 05:54 IST

By not making CWG games venue ready on time,the image of country tarnished in front of world. Whole world said that India is incapable of organising such events and do not have enough skills and technology to organise such events. It also killed the chances of India getting Olympic anytime soon. PM Vajpayee did a great job by winning the bid to organise CWG games. But Shiela Dixit, kalmadi, PM and Sonia Gandhi demonstrated their incapability. Our PM Manmohan was warned 100 times by its own minister about loot and venue not ready on time but he took no action. I live in Sydney and we struggled to answer genuine question because politicians are only interested in making money. I request my fellow Indians not to do anything for country.Look what happened to kins of our soldiers who died in Kargil war? nobody got flats in Addarsh society but all politicians and their kins got flat there. Congress MP/MLAs are still in govt despite owning flats in Addarsh society?

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 05:03 IST

Ms Dixit is not to be blamed for the loss to the Government and in turn to the people of the nation. She was following what every other government (state/central) has been practicisng since independence. An event like Commonwealth Games brings the 'jobs for the boys' principle into play. And the boys who are supposed to do the job get the money without doing the job or doing a sub-standard work.Poor Ms.Dixit she is just following tradition and orders.

from:  Mani sandilya
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 04:30 IST

"I have done nothing wrong" is a nice way of saying that I messed up due to total incompetence and negligence, which is the hallmark trait of today's politicians who cannot perform beyond cutting ribbons, offering namastes and making silly speeches quoting Mahatma Gandhi quotes. We are stuck in a system where form has taken complete control over substance.

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 03:24 IST

This lady must resign if she has some shame left in her. She was indicted for CWG by Shunglu committee, and now by the CAG. Why is there one set of law for Kalmadi and his group and another set of laws for Shiela Dixit and her gang?

from:  Vimal
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 03:01 IST

The findings of CAG are nothing new but reiterate what the majority of public always believed: that the Delhi CM was a conduit in the loot of public funds. The preparations for the commonwealth games were shoddy and made India a laughing stock. On top of this Ms Sheila Dikshit and her team squandered money and helped vested interests to share the spoils.

from:  Ram Viswamitra
Posted on: Aug 4, 2011 at 02:56 IST
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