An organisational disaster is in the offing as the Commonwealth Games near.
With just 14 months to go before the prestigious Games start — on October 3, 2010 — more than half the roads and flyovers being built for it run a risk of missing their deadline.
A 64-page report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) concludes that nearly all Games-related projects are behind schedule, while some haven’t even begun.
“In view of the complexity and multiplicity of activities … and the progress till date, there is a need to rethink the governance model for the Games Project as well as for similar mega-events in the future,” the report says.
There are more than a dozen government agencies involved in building the infrastructure for the Games. The Games' organising committee, however, is the nodal agency to coordinate their activities.
The CAG report was to be tabled in Parliament during the budget session that ended last Friday, but it wasn’t — apparently because of its damaging content, said an official on condition of anonymity.
Minister of State for Urban Development Saugata Roy dismissed the observations. “I don’t think the CAG team was competent enough to assess the projects,” he said. “All projects will be completed on time.”
The report, however, includes photographs of the state of readiness of different projects taken as late as July 16 that belie Roy’s optimism.
Eleven of the 20 projects assessed were in the “high risk” category of not being completed in time, the report said.
Three intended projects have already been given up. Five projects are barely 25-50 per cent complete. They have been included in the “medium risk” category.
The report damns the government on all fronts, from planning to implementation.
“The government should fix responsibility and come out with a status report. This project involves the nation’s prestige to the world,” said Abani Roy, a Rajya Sabha member from the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP).
Sports Minister M.S. Gill didn’t answer several calls made on his mobile phone. A ministry spokesman said the projects were under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and were all on track.