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Good, but Delhi wants more

delhi Updated: Jul 07, 2009 02:32 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta

Fifteen months ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday made a total allocation of Rs 3,472 crore for overall games-related preparations.

Of this, Rs 1,000 crore will go to the Delhi government for developing the city's physical infrastructure like roads, flyovers, etc..

Rs 2264 will got to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs for renovation of stadiums, preparation of teams, upgradation/creation of venues, purchasing equipments and furnishings of stadiums.

Then Rs 125 crore goes to the Union Urban Development Ministry and Rs 74 crore to Delhi Police for ensuring foolproof security.

But is this bounty a bit too little too late?

Poor planning by different implementing agencies has resulted in many of the games-related projects like venues, stadiums, flyovers and road overshooting the original budget estimates and falling way behind schedule.

The Delhi government, which has got Rs 1000 crore, has said the allocation is just half of what it had demanded.

In January, the city government in its wish list to the Planning Commission had asked for Rs 2000 crore under the Commonwealth Games head.

It cited paucity of funds for delay in many infrastructure projects. Also, to date, no plan has been made, and hence no funds approved, for overlays (temporary facilities like seating arrangements, timers, etc).

Delhi Finance Minister Dr AK Walia said: "We are still short of funds for some projects. The money allocated to the Delhi government for infrastructure projects related to the Commonwealth Games is half of what we had demanded. We would request for another Rs 1,000 crore."

Similarly, a majority of the games projects being undertaken by the sports ministry like the upgradation/ furnishing of different sporting venues and stadiums are way behind schedule.

On July 1, Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Pratik Prakashbapu Patil told the Rajya Sabha said that 51 per cent work was still left.

The Commonwealth Games Village, being readied by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), also ran into trouble after project developers Emaar-MGF faced a severe crisis.

DDA bailed out the developers with a loan of Rs 350 crore.

About 47 per cent work on the village is complete.