The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday initiated two preliminary enquiries (PEs) in two cases of alleged irregularities in the Commonwealth Games (CWG).
The PEs were lodged to probe irregularities in the multi-crore renovation project on Connaught Place (CP) and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC)'s street-lighting projects as part of a beautification drive ahead of the sporting event.
The CP renovation project had allegedly escalated nine times, from the initial estimated sum of Rs 76 crore in 2005 to Rs 671 crore in 2007, according to a CBI source. Though the project's planning began in 2004, its detailed project report was only completed in February 2008, which delayed it and led to cost escalation, the source said.
The agency also suspects that the project's cost escalation could have been allegedly triggered by the NDMC decision to expand its scope and also due to a cost-revision exercise triggered by its inclusion under the JNNURM.
In the May 2005 plan, there was no plan for improving the subway system in CP but it was included by July 2007 that led to an escalation by over R60 crore, the source said.
Later, in 2007, the project cost rose further because of the inclusion of a plan to build an underground parking worth R111.99 crore. Additional civil and electrical works also incurred a cost of R66 crore, said the source.
The CBI is examining the Comptroller and Auditor General's report on the project according to which the NDMC argument that work got delayed on account of non-receipt of clearance from traffic authorities. The report said, "NDMC should have divided the project into manageable packages, so as to minimise traffic disruption across the whole of CP.”
As part of its probe into the street-lighting projects, the CBI would investigate if the allegedly arbitrary purchase of imported equipment, though they were available in the domestic market, led to the needless expenditure of around R31 crore. The CBI is yet to find any technical note regarding reasons for use of imported equipment.