Sports minister Ajay Maken has accused former minister Mani Shanker Aiyar of playing an “irreparable obstructionist role” in the Commonwealth Games projects resulting in cost escalation.
These comments were made by Maken in his report sought by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after media highlighted letters by Aiyar wherein he had warned about the squandering of money by the Suresh Kalmadi chaired Organising Committee.
The communication now made public under the RTI Act shows that Maken has strongly criticised Aiyar, saying “Aiyar, as minister in-charge for about two years ironically played an irreparable obstructionist role that led to inordinate delays resulting in huge cost and time over runs.”
“Even as Shri Aiyar kept presenting a rosy picture to the PM about the progress in infrastructure preparedness, he actually did everything to hinder and obstruct work which eventually led to delays and huge cost escalations,” Maken wrote in his letter dated July 8, 2011.
On Aiyar’s claims that he forewarned PM about cost escalations in the conduct of the Games, Maken says that they “not only does the stand subject to factual verification, but also appears frivilous.” “Even as he wrote about increased financial sanctions to the OC, Aiyar as Minister in-charge approved duly the Cabinet note giving Rs767 cr. to the OC,” Maken said.
On the cost escalation in infrastructure projects, Maken said Aiyar did an “extremly dichotomous, contradictory and self-indicting job of dealing with them.”
He said, Aiyar chose not to operationalise the “apex committee” that was supposed to lord over the OC even after holding three of its meetings, decisions taken by which were duly adhered to. He also said “facts” behind appointment and continuation of Kalmadi as Chairman of OC clearly state that he owed his position “singularly to a favourable clique” of the sports minister and sports secretary during the NDA regime in 2003.