The Organising Committee (OC) of the 2010 Commonwealth Games made the ‘most' of a Rs. 25-crore budget released by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for procurement of sports equipment for competition and training venues. This was in addition to the original sanction of Rs. 5.42 crore.
Making these disclosures, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has pointed out many glaring cases of negligence and corruption and has come down heavily on the OC.
“We do not find sufficient evidence that required assessment for sports equipment was done with due diligence. The procurements were effectively decided by the OC, which apparently had no expertise in this area,” said the report. The CAG found several deficiencies in the procurement that came to Rs. 27.22 crore.
The report found the OC ordering boxing rings according to old specifications, even though the international federation had made changes from January 2010. One ring was changed to the new specifications, but the others remain unfit for all international federation approved events.
In a startling case, of the 2000 dozen shuttlecocks purchased for badminton events, 1000 dozen shuttlecocks had crossed shelf-life even before the events were held.
The CAG said 1392 dozen shuttlecocks (68 per cent of the procurement), valued at 0.16 crore, remained unutilised.
Equipment for gymnastics and aquatics, worth Rs. 4.56 crore and Rs. 1.08 crore, was delivered very late and led to the cancellation of the test events. Four training boxing rings were installed only one day before the events began.
The CAG also found “huge quantities” of sports equipment lying unused at various locations even after the Games had concluded.
In fact, sports equipment worth Rs. 1.35 crore was lying unpacked in November 2010; sixteen storage trolleys were never made available at the SPM Aquatics Complex.
“Eight of the trolleys were kept at the Games Village and the rest remained in the store,” the CAG report pointed out.
The report said that of the 17 venues, equipment usage records of only seven were received. In these venues, sports equipment worth 0.93 was lying fully unused.
“Ten trampoline sets procured for aquatics at a cost of 0.34 crore were kept unused at the store.”
No trampoline event
In a shocking case of wasting the funds, the CAG said, “Two trampoline sets procured for gymnastics at a cost of 0.11 crore were procured wastefully, as there was no trampoline event scheduled in the Games.”
The report found irregularities in awarding the contracts for sports presentation ceremonies, which is the showcasing of a sport for venue spectators and broadcast audiences. This is the ceremony where winners are presented with medals and their countries are honoured by raising their National flags and playing the National Anthem of the gold medal winners.
The OC incurred an expenditure of 13.62 crore for sports presentation and awarded several contracts to Greg Bowman's company — Great Big Events. The CAG concluded that these contracts had been awarded and managed by the OC in complete disregard of the norms of propriety and without safeguarding its financial interests.