Corruption clouds hover over CWG, ED to probe foreign funds

Dark clouds gathered over the yet to arrive CWG as serious charges were hurled against its management.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Dark clouds gathered over the yet to arrive Commonwealth Games on Friday as serious charges were hurled against its management, leading to major probe announcements and demands.

The Central Vigilance Commission asked the CBI to register a corruption case against certain MCD officials in connection with irregularities in a tender issued for a Commonwealth Games project worth several crores.

On the other hand the Enforcement Directorate has
started a probe into international monetary transactions
pertaining to certain Games project contracts
awarded to a London-based firm.

The ED will get in touch with the Games Organising
Committee to obtain documents of the contract entered with the
company, official sources said.

The agency would also get in touch with its London
counterpart to ascertain the registration and financial
transactions of the company in UK.

This has been done in the wake of the British authorities
referring to the Indian High Commission a matter regarding A M Films,
a London-based company, to which a huge some of money was
transferred through the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee today denied the charges of financial irregularities. "Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi
would like to state that we have followed due diligence in
making all payments, getting the clearances from the Executive
Board and from Reserve Bank of India for incurring the
expenditure in foreign currency. All remittances happened
against this clearance," OC spokesperson Lalit Bhanot said in
a statement.

Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Commonwealth Suresh Kalmadi also said all financial transactions were made in accordance with RBI rules.

Official sources said a letter of complaint has been sent to CBI asking for a probe into alleged criminal conspiracy by unknown MCD officials while granting work for upgradation of street lighting in the national capital.

They said the contractor who had got the job after quoting the lowest amount for the project was later allegedly allowed to change the figures to earn more profit.

However, the exact amount of profits made by the contractor could not be ascertained but officials believe it may run up to Rs 20 crore.

Union Sports Minister MS Gill and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit refused to comment on the issue, saying they were not aware of it.

The CVC has found serious discrepancies like award of works at higher rates to bidders, poor quality of construction and grant of work to ineligible agencies in different Games-related construction works being carried out by various departments in the capital.

As per the assessment report prepared by CVC`s Chief Technical Examination Wing, large-scale procedural violations, including corruption, have been noticed in 16 projects.
The cost of the projects have been estimated to be about Rs 2,000 crore.

Six of them are being done by Public Works Department (PWD), three by Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), two each by Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and one by RITES, a Government of India Enterprise, the report said.

The CTE Wing has made the assessment of construction projects following complaint of alleged corruption in them. The CVC has asked Chief Vigilance Officers to re-examine all the tenders and procurement process related to the projects.

Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar has conveyed concern over the charges as well as delay in preparations to the Organising Committee.

Chandrashekhar held a review meeting today which was attended by secretaries of agencies concerned, including officials of the CWG Organising Committee, Youth and Sports Ministry, Urban Development Ministry and Tourism Ministry.

He made known his concern over the delays in projects and the charges of corruption, including the observations made by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) that some tenders might have been awarded improperly, causing losses to the tune of crores of rupees, sources said.

-Agencies inputs

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