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No payment was made to SMAM: Bhanot

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - 23:40

New Delhi: Facing allegations of dubious
deals in various purchases related to the Commonwealth Games,
the Organising Committee on Wednesday dismissed as exaggerated
reports about procurement of treadmills and tissue papers and
made it clear that no payment was made to an Australian firm
for roping in sponsors.

Adressing a press conference OC Secretary General Lalit
Bhanot disclosed that the Australian company Sports Marketing
and Management, which is at the centre of a sponsorship deal
controversy, does not have proper papers and hence has not
been paid any money yet by the OC.

"I want to make it clear that OC has not paid anything to
the SMAM. They have not come with proper papers and when they
will come, we will see. We will do it whatever agreement
provides," he said.

Bhanot also said that the OC would not exert pressure on
engineers to complete the infrastructure work at venues.

"Work will be completed as per deadline," he said.

A K Saxena, Joint Director General Overlays and
Procurement, refuted the reports in the media that the OC paid
exorbitant amount to companies for treadmills to be used
during the Games by the athletes.

"Treadmill shown in the media was a normal household one.
Treadmill with us is of high-end costing USD 60,000. Those
were used by athletes in Beijing Olympics. Companies have sent
us proposal on July 25. OC is looking into it but we will now
purchase the treadmill.”

"The treadmills are not coming on rent basis. How many we
will procure that we will inform later after getting them.
Rates will be furnished later. They will remain with us as
Games` legacy. OC is purchasing them on behalf of DDA, Delhi
University and Jamia Millia Islamia. After the Games, they
will be distributed among them," said Saxena.

Saxena also said that the overlays in various Games`
venues were procured through a transparent process.

"Overlays procuring process was initiated with the
setting up of proper department. Finance sub-committee of OC
under the chairmanship of Secretary (Urban Development) on
November 20, 2009 decided the procurement process.

"Four foreign overlays suppliers -- from France, UK,
Singapore and Hong Kong -- were selected after following due
procedures. The draft agreement for signing were issued to
suppliers on May 18. Companies are giving us on rental basis.
We will install them, use them, they will charge us certain
amount and after that we will return them," he said.

"On rent we will be procuring video boards, giant
screens, generators, ACs. All overlays equipments will be of
European standard," he added.

The overlays include gates, fencing, pedestrian entry
points, vehicle check points, tents, security areas, official
lounge, furnitures and fixtures, halls as work spaces with
partition, press area arrangements, temporary seats in Delhi
and barricading.

Saxena said that the price of tissue papers quoted by
certain sections of media was incorrect.

"It`s Rs 3750 for a box of 100 rolls of tissue papers.
It`s not Rs 3750 for a single tissue paper," he said.

Meanwhile, the under-fire OC also sought to project CGF
chief Michael Fennell`s impending visit to India later this
month as a pre-planned one and not connected to the raging
corruption allegations.

"Mike Fennell will come on a regular and scheduled visit.
There will be no CGF Coordination Commission meeting. His
visit is pre-planned. He will come before or after the Youth
Olympic Games in Singapore (August 14-26). He is not coming
earlier than that," Lalit Bhanot, OC secretary general and
spokesperson, told reporters here.

Fennell had expressed serious concerns about the
corruption allegations on the Organising Committee, saying
that "the image of the Games could not be damaged by
corruption charges".

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - 23:40
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