DDA takes action against Emaar-MGF for shoddy CWG Village

Last Updated: Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 00:34

New Delhi: The Rs.183 crore bank guarantee
furnished by Commonwealth Games village builder Emaar-MGF was
today ordered to be confiscated on charges of irregularities,
as the ED prepared to question top officials of the Organising
Committee for alleged foreign exchange violations.

A Rs 760 crore bail out package given by Delhi
Development Authority(DDA) for Emaar-MGF, a private builder,
also came under the scanner, sources said.

As the multi-pronged probe into alleged corruption and
financial irregularities in the Games scam gathered momentum,
the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) seized files
relating to various construction works carried out by CPWD and
DDA.

Official sources said the Enforcement Directorate(ED)
is likely to issue summons to top OC officials including
Secretary General Lalit Bhanot in a case of alleged foreign
exchange violation related to the Queen Baton Relay in London.
Bhanot said he has not received any summons by the ED.

Cracking the whip, the Government ordered legal action
against the private builder Emaar-MGF after the DDA detected
"irregularities" and deficiencies in the Games Village.

The direction for confiscation of the Rs 183 crore bank
guarantee was given by the Urban Development ministry to the
DDA which had given the contract to the builder, ministry
sources said.

The Government action came a day after DDA submitted an
interim report to the UD ministry in which it said there were
"various deficiencies" and "irregularities" in construction
of the Village and the builder had exceeded the permissible
limits of construction.

Emaar-MGF on its part said the Village was built to
the "highest standards of quality and design" and all the
pertinent milestones were achieved as per their scope of work.

The company also said all deficiencies pointed out by
DDA or any other agency were duly rectified by it.

The bail out package was provided by DDA which
purchased 333 flats from Emaar-MGF. The package was said to
have been worked out by the Delhi`s LG, who is the Chairman of
the DDA, and was cleared by the Centre.

BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal, whose premises were
searched by Income Tax officials yesterday in connection with
irregularities in CWG projects, meanwhile refuted corruption
charges and accused the government of making him a "political
scapegoat" and indulging in "witch-hunt".

Regarding the likely summoning of the OC top brass,
official sources said the ED wants to confront them with
certain documents that it has laid hands on.

The ED has already registered a case under Foreign
Exchange Management Act (FEMA) in this regard.

The ED has obtained a "fair amount" of details about the
banking transactions undertaken by the Games body, the sources
said.

A CAG team also picked up files pertaining to contracts
awarded for public address systems, LED display boards and
other communication systems for various Games stadia, sources
said.

Mittal claimed that his company Delhi Tents and
Decorative did business worth only Rs 29 lakh in CWG contracts
out of the Rs 77,000 crore earmarked for various projects.

"I am being made a political scapegoat," he said,
adding neither he nor any of his family members were involved
in corruption in CWG projects.

The Income Tax department was also preparing a "family
tree" of all senior officials, individuals and their relatives
who have bagged Commonwealth Games contracts and also of
consortiums which entered into joint ventures with foreign
entities to float firms.

As part of its probe into alleged financial
irregularities in work related to the sporting event, the
department, which conducted searches at almost 30 premises of
business consortiums, including those associated with Mittal
yesterday, has collected PAN card, credit card and bank
account details of the officials and contractors.

Sources in the LG`s office said Tejender Khanna had
directed the DDA to carry out a thorough audit of all
transactions relating to expenditure in the Games Village.

The sources said that the bailout package was cleared
after taking the approval of all the stakeholders concerned.

In August, the ED had questioned sacked CWG Joint
Director General T S Darbari and suspended Deputy Director
General Sanjay Mohindroo for several hours over alleged
financial irregularities in connection with the mega event.

Darbari, a close aide of OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi,
and Mahindroo were summoned to explain certain financial
transactions undertaken during the Queen`s Baton Relay in
London last year.

-PTI



First Published: Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 00:34

comments powered by Disqus