Union Urban Development Ministry is hopeful that its plea for armed forces not charging for services rendered during the upcoming Commonwealth would be considered as Defence Minister A K Antony has promised to look into it.
Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy had written to Antony requesting waiving off of charges, which are to the tune of over Rs 11 crore, for the assistance to be rendered by
armed forces for the event to be held here in October.
Antony has written back to Reddy, who is also Chairman of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Commonwealth Games, saying he has asked the Defence Secretary to look into the matter, a senior Urban Development Ministry official said.
According to the CWG Organising Committee, the armed forces are levying charges amounting to Rs 10,07,64,709 for the ceremonial functional area and Rs 1,22,18,000 for other
functional areas including accommodation provided by the Army Headquaters.
In his letter to Antony, Reddy had pointed out that every sporting event in the country in the past has got all assistance from the armed forces.
"However, it is distressing to know that the armed forces now require OC to pay in the form of allowances that has been demanded at the rate of Rs 20,000 per month for
officers, Rs 14,000 for JCOs and Rs 10,000 in respect of other ranks," the letter said.
He has said that all other agencies of the government have willingly provided facilities to conduct the Games and it would be incomplete without the participation of the members
of the armed forces.
"Therefore, I urge you to kindly ensure their (forces') full participation at 'no cost' to the OC," Reddy told Antony.
A senior Urban Development minister expressed hope that the request would be accepted.