Shunglu names Lt Governor, Delhi CM for CWG irregularities

New Delhi: The Prime Minister-appointed Shunglu Committee has found procedural violations by Delhi Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for alleged inadequacies in executing projects related to 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The Committee, appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to probe charges of corruption in various projects related to the sporting extravaganza, has submitted two reports on alleged irregularities in executing contracts related to construction of the Games Village and city infrastructure projects.

It has named senior officials including K K Sharma, Principal Secretary, Public Works Department, R Subramanian, then Engineer-in-Chief, PWD, Parimal Rai, Chairman, New Delhi Municipal Council, Ashok Kumar, Vice Chairman of Delhi Development Authority, Nand Lal, Member (Finance) and A K Bajaj, then Member (Engineering) of DDA, M Jayachandran, then Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development for alleged high valuation and delays in Games projects.

The high-level committee has estimated Rs 900 crore as "cost of delay" by certain government departments in implementing City Infrastructure related projects and Rs 300 crore loss to DDA in construction of residential facilities at the Village.

The Committee questioned the procedure and found fault in choosing real estate developer Emmar MGF to construct over 1,100 residential flats inside the Games Village and asked government to recommend action against public servants concerned for "dolling out largesse to the Project Developer (Emaar MGF)".

"Government of India/DDA may take appropriate action against Emaar MGF, Project Developer, for knowingly supplying incorrect information and for its various acts of omission and commission," the report submitted by the Committee to the Prime Minister`s Office said.

It asked the Government to examine the governance structure of DDA including the continuance of the Lt Governor as the ex-officio Chairman of DDA and evolve measures to strengthen the `accountability systems` in the development authority.

"A more detailed enquiry by investigating agencies (including Income Tax) may throw greater light on deliberate acts of omission and commission of different parties involved," the panel said in the report asking government to conduct thorough probe in the Games Village construction project.

The Committee has named Dikshit for her poor oversight on various Games related projects.

The panel noted that the Village, spread at the 63.5 hectares area near Akshardham Temple, was "over designed" to accommodate 8,00 athletes and termed the selection of site as a "priori" saying that no exercise was undertaken to compare the selected site with alternate sites available with DDA.

"The selected site had several drawbacks in terms of uncertainties…This decision entailed auxiliary cost of about 633.06 crore on infrastructure," the report said.

The Committee found delay in commencing work for construction of the Village and selection of Emaar MGF as project developer. It also questioned the bail out package given to the builder.

"As against the reserve price of Rs 300 crore for the land in the RFP, the sole bidder quoted just Rs 321 crore. If truly participative bidding had taken place, DDA would have definitely obtained a higher bid," it said.

"Bulk purchase of additional 333 apartments by DDA at the rate of 11,000 per sft under `depressed market conditions` was only intended to provide undue benefit to the Project Developer.

While in case of `City Infrastructure` projects, to upgrade city infrastructure, especially road and transport sector for the Games, the Committee noted there was no special preparation by Government of National Capital territory of Delhi (GNCTD).

"All projects require a host of preparatory actions before the start of the project on ground…These actions have to be initiated well in advance as they take considerably long time… the work should have started during the year 2005-06," it said.

According to the report, there was "no special preparation by GNCTD despite constrained time frame". It said that unfair cost advantage was given to contractors due to compressed time frame and noted indication of "Collusive bidding" by tenders floated by PWD.

The panel cited PTI stories in its report to highlight how deadlines were fixed and missed.

Shunglu panel highlighted manipulative cost in various contracts. "In street lighting contracts, the contractors have received undue gains to the tune of Rs 63.20 crore…In streetscaping contracts, the contractors are estimated to have been unduly benefited to the extent of at least Rs 16 crore," the report said.

"Detailed examination of the projects undertaken by the GNCTD, NDMC, MCD show that for certain `city image` improvement projects (streetlighting, streetscaping, signage), NDMC and MCD acted as adjuncts of the GNCTD rather than as independent entities.

"The Chief Minister took personal interest in the planning and execution of these projects. While full credit must be given to the CM for the leadership provided, she also carries the responsibility for the decisions taken including those relating to `city image` improvement projects which cost the city dear," it said.

The Shunglu Committee had on January 31 submitted its first report on alleged irregularities in awarding broadcasting rights during the mega event and recommended strict action against suspended Chief Executive Officer of Prasar Bharti B S Lalli and former Director General (Doordarshan) Aruna Sharma under relevant Sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act for their alleged act of omission and commission.