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Panel slams civic agencies for losses

delhi Updated: Mar 31, 2011 22:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The VK Shunglu Committee has hit out at various agencies, including the Sports Authority of India, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi government and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), for various irregularities that not only resulted in loss to the exchequer but in one instance resulted in the stadium not getting completed in time for the Commonwealth Games (CWG).

These agencies were involved in readying the CWG sporting venues.

The panel, which was appointed by the prime minister to probe into CWG irregularities, has pegged the cost of delay in completing construction of various venues to the tune of Rs 800 crore. Besides, there was financial oversight by civic and construction agencies that resulted in undue gain of over Rs 250 crore to contractors.

The Shunglu panel that submitted its fourth report on Games venues to the prime minister early this week put up its findings on government website www.india.gov.in on Thursday.

Here is what the panel report said on glaring irregularities in preparing seven of the main CWG sporting venues.

JawaharLal Nehru stadium
In the run-up to the Games, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Complex was renovated at an estimated cost of Rs 961 crore. The panel has found that cost estimates were padded up. “Loss to the tune of Rs 44 crore was caused to the state by the contractor who charged an amount much higher than the procurement price for the imported membrane and fully locked cables,” the report said. Irregularities were noticed in the laying of synthetic athletic track, where the panel found that the contractor had earned an exorbitant profit by charging an amount much higher than the cost at which the material was imported. It has been estimated that while the contractor showed a cost of Rs 17.59 crore to the income tax department, it charged a sum of Rs 43.32 crore from the Central Public Works Department (CPWD).

Major Dhyan Chand stadium
The work of remodelling, retrofitting and upgradation of the existing stadium and external development was undertaken at an estimate cost of Rs 262 crore. The panel noticed manipulation in the price at which the turf was procured.

SP Mukherjee swimming pool complex
Undue benefits were extended to the contractors. “Even though the contract was a “lumpsum” contract, inappropriate payment was made on account of escalation. Irregularities and excess payments resulted in a loss of Rs 26.43 crore to the government,” the report stated.

Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range
The panel found that upgradation, renovation and fresh construction at the shooting range was done by the CPWD at a cost of Rs 122.50 crore despite the Organising Committee consultant favouring continuing with the existing ranges with moderate renovation. Justified cost was inflated to enable acceptance of the bid. This by itself enabled the contractor to a benefit of 8.96 crore.

Shivaji stadium
It was identified as a training venue for hockey. As such it did not require major renovation. However, a decision was taken to construct a totally new stadium at a cost of R80.85 crore. An ineligible consultant was appointed. An equally ineligible contractor was selected who promptly sub-contracted the work at a much lower cost. There were delays in execution of the project as a result of which the venue was not ready for the Games. In this project, there have been purposeful and premeditated acts of “omission and commission” to benefit certain parties.

Talkatora stadium
The work relating to improvement of Talkatora Stadium, which was the venue for boxing event, was undertaken by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). An extremely high cost of Rs 150 crore was fixed while obtaining expenditure sanction. There is evidence to show collusion between NDMC, the consultant and the contractor.

Siri Fort Complex
The work on this competition venue was undertaken by the DDA at an estimated cost of R326.65 crore. Investigations by the high-level committee reveal major irregularities in the execution of the project. There was irregularity in appointing the consultant and this caused a loss of Rs 12.29 crore.