`Sheila Dikshit did not influence CWG contract`

With pressure mounting on Delhi government following the reported irregularities pointed by CAG in certain CWG projects, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday held hectic parleys with her cabinet colleagues and top officials and discussed the issue.

New Delhi: Striking a defiant note, Delhi government on Thursday said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has not done "anything wrong" and some of the decisions related to Commonwealth Games projects which are being criticised now
were taken by top officials following due process.

Delhi government, which has gone on a over-drive to
control the damage caused by the allegations of irregularities
in certain CWG projects, asserted that Dikshit had not
"favoured" any company or firm while awarding the contracts.

Addressing a press conference for the second
consecutive day today, Chief Secretary PK Tripathi completely
rejected media reports on wrongdoings based on the Comptroller
and Auditor General (CAG) findings.

Rejecting allegations that Dikshit had favoured IL&FS
Eco Smart to get a lucrative deal to remove construction
wastes and garbage in the city, Tripathi said she had only
asked the then Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta to take
appropriate action to remove the rubble and not suggested any
firm to do so.

"Dikshit had directed the Chief Secretary to take
steps to remove the rubbles and following the direction the
Chief Secretary had convened a meeting of all concerned
agencies," Tripathi said, adding a committee comprising chief
engineers of MCD, PWD and NDMC was constituted to finalise the
selection of the contractor.

Tripathi said it is "not true" that any relative of
Dikshit is member of the IL&FS board.

"IL&FS is a company where Government of India has
majority share. Any employee does not decide (policies). There
is no relative (of Dikshit) on the board," said Tripathi.

He said IL&FS was given the contract following all
procedures and considering the situation ahead of the Games.

"It was clarified by the Chief Secretary that even if
the costs are higher, it needs to be taken into account that
these are special circumstances where the government has taken
a decision to remove the `malba` (construction wastes) from
the city by August 10, 2010 in view of making the city spic
and span," Tripathi said quoting from the minutes of a meeting
headed by Mehta on July 15, 2010.

He said IL&FS was already engaged by the MCD and it
bagged the contract as the company had a waste recycling plant
in the city.

"We made the correct decisions and followed all due
procedures while finalising the contractor. If today we have
to make the decisions, we would make the same decisions that
we made ahead of the Games," Tripathi said, adding certain
steps were taken keeping in mind "national prestige".

The Chief Secretary said he was surprised to see some
of the media reports as the draft CAG report sent to the Delhi
Government did not contain those allegations that have
appeared in the media.

However, he said the CAG has authority to add new
things even if they were not in the draft report sent to the
city government.

On allegations that city government extended profit of
35 per cent to contractors engaged in construction of
flyovers, bridges and roads against CPWD`s norm of giving 15
per cent profit, he said the profit was given following the
guidelines of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.


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