The controversies surrounding the Commonwealth Games seem never-ending. In yet another incident of passing the buck and trying to dodge responsibility, Emaar MGF, which has developed the Commonwealth Games village, has now blamed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and other agencies for delays in the project.
The Urban Development Ministry had, on October 21 ordered confiscation of R183 crore furnished by Emaar-MGF as bank guarantee and initiation of legal action against it for recovery of other expenditure for "deficiencies" and "delays" in developing the Games Village.
The Games village is a public-private-partnership between Emaar MGF and DDA. Emaar MGF has asked the government to revoke its order to confiscate its bank guarantee, of which Rs 90 crore has already been encashed by DDA. The remaining Rs 93 crore could not be credited as the Delhi High Court ordered that status quo be maintained.
"If there is anything incomplete, it has a direct link to the incomplete work of DDA/their other agencies... The project developer cannot be held responsible for failure on part of other agencies deployed by you (DDA) for water supply, sewerage, boundary wall, electrical and cabling work," Emaar had said in a letter to the DDA, after handing over the flats to the Organising Committee.
The delayed completion of the Games village and lack of other facilities had caused a lot of embarrassment to the government, as many agencies were at work in the Village even after athletes and guests arrived for the Games last month.
An Emaar spokesperson confirmed that the company had sent a communication to the concerned DDA officials from time to time. In the case of project milestones, the builder had completed all milestones relating to completion of all towers housing 1,168 flats.
The same were handed over to the Organising Committee in August, within time, Emaar MGF officials said and termed confiscation of its bank guarantee as "unholy penalty".
"As per DDA, Emaar had defaulted on the timeline and work in certain parts of the Village had to be taken up by us at the last moment," said a senior DDA official who didn't wish to be identified. "There is obviously a reason why their bank guarantee was invoked."
Since there was a time constraint, timelines were drawn as part of milestones, so that developers completed the project in time. So, it was the developers' responsibility to meet these milestones because they constructing the project, DDA officials said. However, the DDA spokesperson declined to comment on the issue.