CWG: Six PWD projects worth crores under CVC scanner

New Delhi: Six Commonwealth Games-related projects executed by the PWD of the Delhi government are being investigated by the Central Vigilance Commission for alleged financial and managerial lapses.

According to a recent report on deficiencies in Games-related works by Chief Technical Examination wing of the CVC, higher rates, poor quality control and substandard material, among others, were observed in the PWD-approved projects worth Rs 1,315.66 crore.

The anti-corruption watchdog has found deficiencies in 26 works worth Rs 3,316.58 crore which were carried out by central and Delhi governments` civic and construction agencies.

Besides, the report lists four works costing Rs 364.11 crore carried out by the MCD, three valuing Rs 221.22 crore by NDMC and two each worth Rs 379.93 crore and Rs 105.80 crore respectively by CPWD and Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), among others, for serious deficiencies.

The CVC has also found serious irregularities in two projects worth Rs 193.16 crore implemented by the DDA and one valuing Rs 18.37 crore by RITES, a Government of India enterprise.

It also blamed the Suresh Kalmadi-led Games Organising Committee for "wrongfully moulding eligibility criteria" in tenders to pave the way for certain private firms to help them make profit out of the projects worth Rs 718.33 crore on ticketing, accreditation card work, purchase of fitness equipment, overlays and image and look works.

The CTE wing blamed the PWD for delay in work for construction of grade separator at Rajaram Kohli Marg intersection and Shastri Nagar intersection in East Delhi at the cost of Rs 214.57 crore.

It said the work which was approved by the PWD in April 2007 started in October 2007 that too at higher rates.

Moreover, all six samples of concrete core failed in the test.

The Commission pointed out slow progress and work by ineligible contractor in construction of elevated road over Barapulla Nallah starting from Sarai Kale Khan to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at the cost of Rs 433.71 crore.

"Justification was inflated by considering various inadmissible factors and higher rates of material and labour, excessive provisions for vehicles and telephone facility kept in contractors` agreement bypassing the normal financial/ establishment rules" were the deficiencies observed in constructing Ring Road Bye-pass from Salim Garh Fort to Velodrome Road by PWD at the cost of Rs 214.73 crore.

Blaming the MCD for slow progress of work at covering of Sunahari Nallah from Lala Lajpat Rai Marg at the cost of Rs 303.95 crore, the CVC said, "Deduction on account of escalation due to decrease in rate of reinforcement was not being done properly."

Meanwhile, sources said that PWD will soon send a detailed report to the CVC as response to the findings of the central investigating agency.

The CVC blamed the DDA for accepting bid at higher rates and from a firm which was not pre-qualified for construction of indoor stadium for Badminton and Squash at Sirifort Sports Complex at the cost of Rs 154.40 crore.

In improvement and upgrading of Shivaji Stadium by the NDMC at Rs 160.27 crore, the CVC found that all concrete cubes failed testing strength and selected ineligible architectural and structural consultants, work was sublet without any approval and slow progress.

"Justified amount was inflated," the report said on upgrading of Dr S P M Swimming Pool by CPWD at the cost of Rs 229.73 crore.

"The scope of work and cost estimates were highly inflated. None of the bidders were meeting the eligibility requirements…One firm was favoured by the OC not only in award of contract but also in making extra payment to them for the art work which was already in their scope of work," the Commission said in its findings on Rs 27-crore `image and look work` by the organising committee.

The work comprised creative designing of various products including signages, communications, exhibitions, spaces in and around stadia, public display systems and flexes among others.

"564 tickets of Rs 50,000 denomination for opening and closing ceremonies were sold at Rs 5,000 each without any approval of the competent authority. This has resulted in loss of revenue amounting to Rs 2.53 crore," the report said explaining flaws by OC in ticketing works.

The Rs 64-crore renovation work at Hotel Ashok was carried out by ITDC at exorbitant rates in the absence of fair competition, it said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-appointed Shunglu Committee has found serious inadequacies on part of top Delhi government officials and has held Delhi Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit responsible for inadequate oversight in Games-related works.