A lookback at CWG bungling

New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) From the original estimate of Rs.296 crore, the 2010 Commonwealth Games finally worked out to Rs.28,054 crore, nearly 100 times more, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India report.

Ranging from inflated prices of toilet paper to shoddy work at the stadia, the Games witnessed alleged massive financial bungling at many levels.

A massive amount Rs.101.02 crore was spent on streetscaping and beautification of roads in the capital. The decision to use imported street lights on selected roads resulted in avoidable expenditure of more than Rs.30 crore.

The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General stated that a fleet of 2,500 low-floor buses for Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) were procured at an inordinately high price. It cost the exchequer an additional Rs.61.10 crore over the justified cost.

For communications around the games venue, the Delhi government awarded the contract for Tetra – professional mobile communications – to HCL-Motorola at Rs.99.81 crore for an 87-month period. The CAG found that the decision to extend Tetra for legacy use for seven years was ill-conceived.

The CAG had also pointed out deficiencies in contract management in the inner and outer circles of Connaught Place, where granite stone kerb instead of concrete was used ‘with a difference in expenditure of Rs.5.97 crore’.

Audio video equipments for sports presentations were hired at exorbitant rates, through a highly flawed process. The CAG inquiries also revealed that the quoted prices for purchase of the same equipments was about half the hiring cost.

Apart from this, large amounts of money was spent on procuring potted plants to green Commonwealth Games venues.

The price of first-aid kits varied between Rs.4,741 to Rs.3,934; tissue paper varied between Rs.1,580 to Rs.1,314; while a water dispenser’s price varied between Rs.11,852, and Rs.9,855.

A pigeon-hole cupboard declared to be worth Rs.5,200 at the customs, was given at a rate of Rs.14,440; a bookcase declared to be worth Rs.2,840 was given at Rs.7,655; a stackable chair of Rs.720 was declared worth Rs.1,542.

The CAG also pointed to irregularities in awarding the construction contract of the residential complex at the CWG Village in PPP mode to Emaar MGF Constructions Pvt. Ltd.