OC sent motley group on Rs 8 crore Beijing holiday
Instances of how taxpayer's money flowed into different directions from the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee are still surfacing even more than three months after the actual event. Moushumi Das Gupta reports. Waste of moneydelhi Updated: Jan 27, 2011 00:02 IST
Instances of how taxpayer's money flowed into different directions from the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee are still surfacing even more than three months after the actual event.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India, in its preliminary observations, revealed how the OC wasted a huge amount of money on an "infructuous" exercise, called the Beijing Observer Programme, during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
The OC formed a 166-member delegation under the programme to visit the Chinese capital between August 8 and 24, 2008. The cost: Rs 8.04 crore. The reason: gaining experience from the Olympics for organising the Games in Delhi between October 3 and 14, 2010.
But a senior OC official said on condition of anonymity: "The delegation did not submit any report after their return".
The CAG audit said that even the OC did not maintain any document on the tour.
The CAG found that most of the delegates had nothing to do with organising the Commonwealth Games. Only about a dozen were from the OC.
The rest - a copy of the list of delegates is with HT - were former sportspersons, politicians, socialites and bureaucrats and their spouses.
Among the non-OC delegates were athletes Shiny Wilson and Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, cricketer Chetan Chouhan, hockey players Mohammed Aslam Khan and Ajitpal Singh, socialite and former swimming champion Nafisa Ali, danseuse Pratibha Prahlad and Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sachin Pilot.
From the non-ruling political camp were Indian National Lok Dal leader Ajay Singh Chautala, Shiromani Akali Dal leader SS Dhindsa and BJP leader Vijay Goel.
The CAG also found that the OC paid ticket cancellation charges for over a dozen people - including now ailing former Congress MP PR Dasmunshi, his wife and Congress MP Deepa and son Priyadeep, besides former BJP MP Vinod Khanna and his wife Kavita - who were not even on the list of delegates.
Although the sports department of the OC provided the funds, the trip was coordinated by Sangeeta Badhwar, a director in the secretariat of now sacked chairman of the CWG OC Suresh Kalmadi.