M A I N   N E W S

Sheila, Tejender indicted in CWG probe report
Shunglu panel blames duo, others for Rs 1,500-crore loss
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Tejender Khanna
Tejender Khanna 

New Delhi, March 25
The government’s high-level committee probing “corruption” in the Commonwealth Games today held Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Lt Governor Tejender Khanna and several top bureaucrats responsible for allegedly causing a loss of about Rs 1,500 crore to the exchequer. The loss was incurred on account of delay in the execution of CWG projects and extension of undue favours to contractors and the private developer of the CWG Village near Akshardham Temple.

The two reports — on CWG Village and City Infrastructure — were made public after the BJP today walked out of both the Houses of Parliament over government’s alleged attempts to hide the findings, as per which disciplinary action was to be recommended against officials for their acts identified by the committee. The main Opposition party was quick to seek Dikshit’s resignation.

The 235-page City Infrastructure report details undue delays in the execution of CWG projects from 2003 (when the bid evaluation happened) to 2006, causing a loss of Rs 900 crore. “Had the work commenced even by 2007, the government would have saved Rs 130.60 crore on just the Barapullah nullah and Ring Road Bypass project, which was 13 per cent of the estimated cost of all the infrastructure projects. Cumulative cost of delay is Rs 900 crore,” says the panel, headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General VK Shunglu. It shows Rs 254.10 crore as undue gains to contractors in the 19 CWG projects the committee studied; in all, there were 25 projects.

The third report from Shunglu (the first was on award of broadcast rights and the second on Games Village) says that for “City Image” improvement projects, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) acted as adjuncts of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) rather than independent entities. It blames Dikshit for her role: “While the CM deserves credit for her leadership, she also carries the responsibility for the decisions taken, including those relating to city image enhancement works which cost Delhi dearly.”

The report indicts KK Sharma, principal secretary, PWD, Delhi; R Subramaniam, the then Engineer-in-Chief; Parimal Rai, NDMC chairman and NDMC Chief Engineer for lapses, including huge sums paid to pre-qualified consultants and competitive bids not being called. “Rs 324 crore was committed to improve 77 km of roads and the project envisaged spending Rs 0.80 crore to Rs 12 crore per km, with the average expenditure working out at Rs 4.20 crore per km! Few contractors bagged the works; huge amounts were paid to selected consultants,” the report says.

Several major projects were split into two and works awarded to the same agency — road link from Games Village to Jawaharlal Nehru stadium worth Rs 390 crore was given to one contractor; bus parking project at Nehru stadium project worth Rs 303 crore was split but awarded to one agency. “For streetlighting, unknown practice of involving a luminaire manufacturer as the leading partner was introduced and provision made for fixing only imported luminaires in some stretches,” Shunglu says.

His second report shows how top Delhi officials benefitted Emaar MGF, which developed the CWG Village, and indicts three DDA officials — Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Tejender Khanna, ex-officio chairman, DDA; authority’s Vice Chairman Ashok Kumar, Member Finance Nand Lal and Secretary, MoUD M. Ramachandran for “playing a key role in determining the bailout package to Emaar, which generated false documents and contrived an emergency during recession to seek financial concessions from the DDA, which obliged”.

Other officials may be responsible for further losses to the DDA; they need separate assessment, the report says, recommending action against identified officials for favouring Emaar and the latter for knowingly supplying false information to DDA. “Emaar, from the start, wanted to build excess floor area ratio. They exploited paucity of time for the Games to their advantage and had access to DDA and MoUD officers,” Shunglu states, questioning the continuance of Lt Governor as DDA’s ex-officio chairman.

The report adds that though the September 2009 Project Development Agreement (PDA) between DDA and Emaar envisaged sharing of residential flats in the 1:2 ratio, this was later changed to 1: 0.63 after the DDA decided to bail out the developer by buying 333 flats from Emaar’s share for Rs 11,000 per square feet, which was acceptable to Emaar.

“This package was premeditated. Emaar agreed to accept it in a letter to LG on April 22, 2009. The rate was endorsed with alacrity on April 24 at a meeting chaired by the LG. The locus standi of this group is suspect, the report says.

The charges

n Delhi govt envisaged spending Rs 4.2 crore per km to beautify roads, doled out Rs 240 crore as undue gains to selected contractors in city improvement projects

n Tejender Khanna chaired a meeting which endorsed a bailout package worth Rs 220 cr for Emaar MGF, a realty firm that misled the DDA by hiding important documents 

Others on the wrong side

n DDA Vice Chairman Ashok Kumar, Member Finance Nand Lal, MoUD Secretary M Ramachandran, PWD (Delhi) Principal Secretary KK Sharma, the then Engineer-in-Chief R Subramaniam, NDMC Chairman and Chief Engineer Parimal Rai

City Infrastructure report says...

n Rs 254.10 crore undue gains to contractors - Multiple Contractors bagged three projects and made Rs 16-cr worth undue gain from street-scaping; Rs 63 cr from streetlighting, Rs 47 crore from signage works; DSC Limited got Rs 52.80 crore as undue gains from Barapullah nullah elevated corridor project; Simplex Ltd got Rs 47-cr worth undue gain from Ring Road Bypass project and Afcons made Rs 28.20 cr for Rajaram Kohli project.

n Rs 900-cr loss due to delayed work — there was no activity from 2003 to 2006

n Under the excuse of hotel shortage in Delhi, tourism development projects were reduced to auction of hotel plots by DDA. Plan to upgrade Vasant Kunj flats to 3-star level was so ill-founded that it cost a whopping Rs 1.43 lakh per person per night.

n For city improvement works, restricted tendering systems were adopted.

n Delhi govt insisted on imported luminaires for certain stretches; successful parties imported these at much lower costs than quoted in tender bids.

n Signages installed for Rs 98 crore — in NDMC areas they are wearing out.





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