Suresh Kalmadi stripped of all key powers
Five days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a high-level emergency meeting on the Commonwealth Games (CWG), the Union government finally put its best foot forward: it appointed a crack team of handpicked officers to oversee the preparation of stadiums, totally “sidelining” Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, and stripping him of all his key powers.
Government sources told The Hindu that the officers had been empowered to take on-the-spot decisions and coordinate among different agencies, while reporting daily to Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar. If any of the decisions has financial implications, they are to consult Sports Secretary Sindhushree Khullar. Orders given by these officers — each of whom has been a specific responsibility — will have to be complied with by the executing agencies at the venue level.
The officers who have been appointed are Subodh Kumar, Additional Secretary, Department of Telecommunication; S.R. Rao, Additional Secretary, Department of Information Technology; R.C. Mishra, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development; Amarjeet Singh, Executive Director, Janasankhya Sthirata Kosh, Ministry of Health; J.S. Deepak, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce; Rohit Nandan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation; Shashi Shekar, OSD, Power Trading Corporation Ltd; Dr. Taradatt, Joint Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat; Gopal Krishna, Secretary, Sports Authority of India; Rajeev Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training; and Injeti Srinivas, Joint Secretary Ministry of Sports.
Mr. Srinivas will also look after issues of accreditation and Mr. Kapoor will, along with Mr. Deepak, oversee the Games Village.
Meanwhile, in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Prithviraj Chavan said 22 complaints related to alleged irregularities in various CWG-related projects had been received by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Central Vigilance Commission.