Reports of various 2010 Commonwealth Games projects running behind schedule because of mismanagement and poor planning on the part of some civic agencies have got the attention of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) office.
“We are conducting a performance audit to verify the preparedness of 2010 Commonwealth Games projects and suggest recommendations on the basis of our audit,” A.K. Thakur, director general of audits, central revenue, told HT.
This is the first time a prior performance audit of a sports project is being carried out -- to check if the different agencies involved are taking adequate steps to complete the projects on time. But sports minister M.S. Gill said, “I am not aware of any such development. If there is something going on, please chase the CAG.”
In February, HT had run a five-part series highlighting that Delhi was running behind schedule in readying venues, the players’ village, hotels, roads, flyovers and even the international airport for the Games.
Asked why the CAG felt the need to carry out a performance audit, Thakur said, “It is a project of national importance. We will check if the different projects are on schedule, the risk associated with them and delays, if any.”
As part of the audit, four teams of CAG officials are collecting project details from the agencies — the Sports Authority of India, Doordarshan, the Delhi government, the Delhi Development Authority and the tourism ministry — involved in developing infrastructure for the 2010 event. “We will assess the progress of each project and see if funds are being spent appropriately,” said a CAG official who did not want to be named. “If we find any loopholes, we will bring them to light so that necessary steps can be taken.”
The CAG will submit its report before Parliament and the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee in June.
The inordinate delay in various Games-related project has come in for criticism from several quarters. In February, a parliamentary panel headed by CPM MP Sitaram Yechury had said Delhi was both slow and confused in its preparations. “Though the Commonwealth Games are drawing near, many projects have yet to be initiated, let alone completed,” the report said.
Even the Games village is only 42 per cent ready. The developer, Emaar-MGF, has expressed its inability to complete work because of a financial crunch. It has asked the government for a bailout. The hotel project has also run into trouble, and the DDA is now planning to convert 5,000 residential flats into service apartments to accommodate the one lakh tourist expected to turn up for the event.