CWG infra works made contractors richer by Rs 250 cr: Shunglu Committee

Last Updated: Monday, March 28, 2011 - 16:41

New Delhi: The Prime Minister-appointed Shunglu Committee has found that over Rs 250 crore of the tax payers money has been pocketed by various contractors executing the Commonwealth Games projects.

The high-level committee has estimated Rs 900 crore as "cost of delay" by certain government departments in implementing infrastructure related projects and Rs 300 crore loss to DDA in construction of Commonwealth Games Village near Akshardham temple here.

The Committee in its two reports -- construction of Village and development of City infrastructure -- has pointed out several irregularities like delays, collusive bidding and haste decision on part of certain central and Delhi government officials which led to cost escalation and loss worth crores to the government exchequer.

The HLC has found procedural violations by Delhi Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and other top government officials for alleged inadequacies and indications of their poor oversight in executing projects related to the mega sporting event.

In its second report, the Committee said the Village site suffered from many shortcomings and necessitated extra spending of over Rs 630 crore in constructing a `Barapullah Nallah` flyover. Besides, the project developer Emaar MGF also
made gain of Rs 134 crore to Rs 220 crore and questioned the role of the consultant, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), the report said.

"The HLC, based on the records made available to it, finds that the Union Cabinet was not provided with all the information regarding the pros and cons of the location of the Games Village... The consultant chosen by DDA (PwC) to advise them on execution of the Games Village Project in the PPP mode failed to perform their assigned task satisfactorily," the Committee said in the report basing its findings on interview of 16 people.
It also questioned the bail out package given to the builder and recommended action against Emmar MGF. "Government of India/DDA may take appropriate action against Emaar MGF, Project Developer, for knowingly supplying incorrect
information and for its various acts of omission and commission," the report submitted by the Committee to the Prime Minister`s Office said.

In its third report, the panel chose 19 infrastructure projects worth over Rs 3,000 crore that included elevated roads, flyovers, street-lighting, streetscaping, bus parking areas, bus queue shelters and signages among others and noted there was no special preparation by Government of National Capital territory of Delhi (GNCTD).

"All projects require a host of preparatory actions before the start of the project on ground...These actions have to be initiated well in advance as they take considerably long time... the work should have started during the year 2005-06," it said.

"It has also been observed that `Undue Gains` of about 254.10 crore to contractors in projects scrutinised by HLC are attributable to various acts of omission and commission of persons and officers involved in the process," the panel pointed out.

The panel cited PTI stories in its report to highlight how deadlines were fixed and missed.

Strongly criticising the slow work by various agencies involved in infrastructure projects, the panel questioned the working of Delhi Chief Minister.

"HLC is unable to fathom the reasons behind the centralisation of powers by the Chief Minister of Delhi. The Chief Executive should, as a rule, delegate as much power as possible to subordinates and focus on policy issues and monitoring and supervision of works. Here,unfortunately, the reverse happened and with not too great results," the report said.
Shunglu panel highlighted manipulative cost in various contracts. "In street lighting contracts, the contractors have received undue gains to the tune of Rs 63.20 crore...In streetscaping contracts, the contractors are estimated to have been unduly benefited to the extent of at least Rs 16 crore," the report said.

"Detailed examination of the projects undertaken by the GNCTD, NDMC, MCD show that for certain `city image` improvement projects (streetlighting, streetscaping, signage), NDMC and MCD acted as adjuncts of the GNCTD rather than as independent entities.

"The Chief Minister took personal interest in the planning and execution of these projects. While full credit must be given to the CM for the leadership provided, she also carries the responsibility for the decisions taken including those relating to `city image` improvement projects which cost the city dear," it said.

It has named senior officials including K K Sharma, Principal Secretary, Public Works Department, R Subramanian, then Engineer-in-Chief, PWD, Parimal Rai, Chairman, New Delhi Municipal Council, Ashok Kumar, Vice Chairman of Delhi
Development Authority, Nand Lal, Member (Finance) and A K Bajaj, then Member (Engineering) of DDA, M Jayachandran, then Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development for alleged high valuation, corruption and delays in Games projects.

The Committee in its report found how crore of rupees was misutilised in works like streetscaping, signage, Bus Queue Shelters, tourist infrastructure, Millennium Park Bus Depot and International Broadcasting Centre & Press Centre in Pragati Maidan.

Giving details of inadequacies in press centre, the panel said "The ITPO requested for the revision of estimates from Rs 28.02 crore to Rs 75.77 crore based upon which the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting accorded the sanction under 12 heads of expenses.
"It was noted that even 4 months after the conclusionof the event, ITPO has not prepared any statement comparing head wise expense. HLC therefore obtained relevant information and compiled the approximate quantum of unutilised funds (Rs 28.66 crore) still lying with the ITPO / CPWD," it said.

An overall view of the report indicates that government would have made savings worth several crores by proper planning and execution of construction of games Village and infrastructure related works.

Prime Minister had on October 25 appointed a HLC under the chairmanship of former Comptroller and Auditor General V K Shunglu to look into alleged corruption and managerial lapses in conduct of sporting extravaganza held here between October 3-14 last year.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 28, 2011 - 16:41

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