Though there were few takers all along for the emphatic claims of the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games about ‘revenue neutrality', the CAG report has exposed the whole theory with startling figures.
Even as it pointed out the formation of the OC as a non-Government registered society on the basis of an ‘updated bid' which had no legal sanctity, instead of it being a Government-owned registered society with the IOA president being only a vice-chairman, the CAG showed that only Rs.173.96 crore was generated, as against a projection that had reached Rs.1780 crore from Rs.900 crore.
Quite interestingly, out of a committed revenue of Rs.682.06 crore, only Rs.440.43 crore was realised — Rs.266.47 crore from that amount was lost as revenue generation cost.
“The OC failed to exploit the vast revenue potential of the Games,” the report stressed.
Even from the amount generated from sponsorship, 67 per cent was from government agencies and PSUs. Quite shockingly, there was no revenue from merchandising and licensing rights.
The OC was also inefficient in handling revenue generation from national and international broadcasting rights, apart from ticketing, leading to a loss of hundreds of crores. It had targeted Rs.300 crore from donations, raffle etc, and eventually managed to collect less than a crore.
Touching on the venues development, the report categorically stated, “clear instances of favouritism and bias shown by the committee (Centralised Coordination committee, largely guided by the OC) in selecting sport surfaces for athletic tracks, hockey turf and badminton court mats.”
The CAG found “deficiencies in the quality of the main competition track (at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium) during our field visits in November 2010,” barely a month after the Games.
It found a “systematic pattern of calculations and re-calculations for inflation of rates, which ultimately benefited the vendor,” with regard to the installations of chairs at five major venues.
Though the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium has been hailed as one of the best constructed for the Games, the CAG found, “multiple forms of power back-up, a solar power generator unit, a duel fuel gas turbine with add-on Vapour Absorption Machine,” and rated the expenditure of Rs.22.41 on them as infructuous.
“It would be highly expensive to generate power from this unit post the Games,” it remarked.
The CAG was also quite critical of the Rugby 7s training field, created at the Jamia Millia Islamia at a cost of Rs.2.11 crore, being converted back into a cricket field which defeated the objective of making state-of-the-art infrastructure.
The fact that a further Rs.2.58 crore was diverted for creation of sporting facilities for other disciplines like basketball, tennis, volleyball, hockey, football etc., was viewed as improper, as the funds were earmarked for a specific purpose.