The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) on Wednesday came out with a detailed explanation of the expenditure on overlays, vehemently denying charges of inflated quotations and payments.
CGOC secretary general Lalit Bhanot dismissed reports that the OC had extravagantly spent for hiring items like air-conditioners and treadmills.
He also said the bidding process had been "transparent" and there were several government nominees on the committees that scrutinised and vetted the deals at various levels.
He also said the sports infrastructure will be ready on time for the Oct 3-14 event.
"Our venue operations teams have already moved into the stadia and all the sports infrastructure will be in place on time," Bhanot reiterated.
He said they are still to finalise any company for renting the equipment for athletes like treadmills because they are now going to buy them outright instead of hiring them so that they are left as a legacy of the Games.
"What is being reported in the media is the proposals by different companies. The equipment to be used by athletes will be purchased by the OC on behalf of the Delhi Development Authority, Delhi University and Jamia University," Bhanot said.
A K Saxena, who is the joint director for the overlays, gave a detailed presentation on the procurement of equipment.
"The entire work has been divided into seven clusters for overlays contracts. The whole process is transparent and the bidding procedures followed the approval norms. The bidding criteria was discussed with the finance department of the Organising Committee. Four vendors are shortlisted and after two rounds of negotiations with the bidders, the overlay proposals were prepared and presented to the government's finance committee. The overlays department of OC was guided by two teams of foreign consultants."
"Additional secretaries of the government of India attached to the OC negotiated the prices. The prices are cleared by the OC panel before it goes to finance committee. And finally, the proposal goes to the Executive Board for clearance," Saxena said.
"What we are getting is bare walls. It is like moving into a new unfurnished house. Now we have to furnish the kitchens, drawing rooms, gardens etc. For that we have hired an interior decorator," he added.
"We had requested Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to provide us with teams which will help us identify the right overlay items. The International suppliers from France, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, who have supplied equipment for the Beijing Olympics, Melbourne Commonwealth Games and London Olympics are all reputed firms and they have to worry about their standing."
Asked about specific charges of shelling out more money for ACs, Saxena said: "These are not normal household air-conditioners. They are 11 tonne air-conditioners and need 18kv of power and the rates are inclusive of operational costs."
"We have not ordered treadmills worth Rs 9 lakhs. The picture shown in reports is a household treadmill. The professional treadmill that we were shown costs around $60,000. A high-end treadmill with add-ons will cost $75,000."
On umbrellas, Saxena said: "These are not household umbrellas. These are special umbrellas used for workplaces and they can withstand high wind velocity."
He also said that the overlay contract is on a turn key basis.
"It is the responsibility of the company to take care of everything right from supply, shipment, clearance, installation, maintenance and operational costs.
"As far as tissue paper is concerned, one roll would cost us Rs 37 or so. A TV channel has shown it as Rs 3,750, which is the cost of a box of 100 rolls."