'Sheila Dikshit did not influence CWG contract'



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.

PTI