The Shunglu Committee report on the 'city infrastructure' for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) has adversely commented on the centralisation of powers in the hands of Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit for sanctioning CWG-related projects.
The committee noticed that traditionally the expenditure finance committee (EFC) has been headed by the finance minister of Delhi.
The lieutenant governor (L-G) of Delhi issued orders in October 2007 that all projects of and above R5 and up to R100 crore were to be considered and sanctioned by the EFC headed by the finance minister.
The projects over Rs100 crore or more were to be approved the cabinet.
But the powers of the EFC were bifurcated into two in January 2009. The order stated that the EFC-1, headed by chief minister Sheila Dikshit, will approve projects between Rs50 crore and Rs100 crore.
And the EFC-2 headed by the finance minister was authorised to projects ranging between R5 and R50 crore.
Then in July 2009 it was ordered that all CWG projects would be put up for approval before EFC -1, headed by the chief minister.
However, unlike all other orders issued earlier relating to the constitution of EFC and its powers, this order was not issued with the approval of the L-G.
The Shunglu panel has come across six proposals of less than R50 crore wherein the EFC headed by thechief minister gave approval. The total cost of these projects was around Rs115 crore.
The Shunglu Committee said it was unable to fathom the reason behind the centralisation of powers by the Delhi chief minister.The committee was of the opinion that the chief executive should always delegate as much power as possible and focus on policy issues and supervision of works but here the reverse happened and with not too great results.
‘Metro projects too ambitious’
The Shunglu panel has stated that the decision to undertake two lines —Central Secretariat-Badarpur station and Airport Expressline — of the Delhi Metro was very ambitious. Till October 2006, the DMRC took eight years to construct a capacity of 65 km. Then it was decided that before the CWG, 85 km of metro lines will be constructed. This was way beyond what was accomplished in the past and further strained the construction industry in Delhi. HTC