New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) ordered the Cabinet Secretary to review the status of the ongoing projects of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games to be played here in October.
The PMO also asked Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrashekhar to find out the reason behind delay in meeting the deadlines for all the projects.
Cabinet Secy Chandrashekhar, who was to visit to the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee office today, cancelled his plans of the same even as officials maintained it had nothing to do with the allegations of corruption against the OC.
However, the Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar wrote to the Commonwealth Games Organising Comitteee on Saturday, expressing concerns over delays in the Games projects. In his letter, he also mentioned that the mounting allegations of corruption is harmful for the reputation of the Games.
An OC source said it was a routine visit meant to discuss the ongoing preparations for the October 3 to 14 Games here.
“It was a routine visit and the allegations of corruption have got nothing to do with the cancellation. He will come on other day,” the source said.
A major scam hit the Games after it was reported that a substantial sum of money was transferred to a little known U K company from the Games Organising Committee (OC) about which the British Government has raised questions.
The PMO’s orders came after the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report revealed massive irregularities in a tender issued for a Commonwealth Games project worth several crores. The CVC asked the CBI to register a corruption case against certain MCD officials.
The CVC 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 has been estimated to be about Rs 2,000 crore.
On the other hand, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) 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 AM Films, a London-based company, to which a huge some of money was transferred through the Royal Bank of Scotland.
On the other hand, the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee 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.
Union Sports Minister MS Gill and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit refused to comment on the issue, saying they were not aware of it.