Thursday, November 04, 2010

Fwd: TOI's chargesheet on sonia gandhi Commonwealth Games loot

nov 4th, 2010

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjeev Nayyar

How come TOI is doing a good job. Has their Marketing team done a survey and found that average Indian is very angry with corruption so in order to get higher sales they should focus on corruption in Congresswealth Games 2010. I for one am not complaining.  rgds sanjeev
Layers of deceit are unravelling in the Adarsh housing society case and the nation's attention is rivetted to the scandal. But as we move from one scam to another, it's crucial that we don't lose sight of past cases and the action being taken on them. Here, Team TOI puts together the top 25 charges against various agencies involved in the Commonwealth Games. This chargesheet, we hope, will serve as a reminder to all concerned that a reasonably successful Games does not exonerate those whose actions — or inaction — almost brought shame upon the country

1. Queen's Baton Relay
OC failed to execute the contract in time for arrangements at London. Hired AM films and AM cars without a proper contract. Claims that the firm was recommended by Indian high commission were denied. The firm, run by one Ashish Patel, was paid 2,50,000 pounds for hiring of cars and equipment. Rates suspected to have been inflated. UK authorities triggered alert over tax irregularities. Officials accused of inflating travel bills as well
Money: Rs 13 crore
Probe status: Being investigated by enforcement directorate

2. Ticketing
One of the biggest mysteries of the Games. Sold-out signs at venues contrasted sharply with empty stands at many venues. While poorly managed ticket booths added to the woes, a large number of tickets being given to various sports federations created a shortage. Complimentary tickets were indiscriminately printed and have not been accounted for. Hundreds of unused complimentary tickets were seen at venues. Multiple tickets with the same seat number was a problem in the closing ceremony
Probe status: Being investigated by OC, will be examined by Shunglu committee

3. SMAM scam
Melbourne-based Sports Marketing and Management was in the eye of a storm as it was contracted to collect 15-23% of sponsorship deals even if it was not involved in getting the endorsements. SMAM was even due to get a slice of sponsorships offered by PSUs, where it had no role to play. SMAM turned out to be a poor negotiator, being unable to even assess revenues of uniform sales. It offered a low minimum guarantee to Reebok. Finally the contract was cancelled
Probe status: Investigated by CAG

4. Overlays: Treadmills & More
Treadmills were hired for Rs 9.75 lakh for 45 days while a purchase would have cost Rs 7 lakh. OC bought rolls of toilet paper at $80 each, soap dispensers for $61 and first-aid kits for $125. While an 82.5 KVA generator set was hired for Rs 4.65 lakh, another with similar specifications was hired for Rs 14.58 lakh. As much as Rs 9 crore was spent on diesel
Probe status: Investigated by CAG

5. Sponsorship
The lead sponsor, Indian Railways, is yet to pay its committed Rs 100 crore. Central Bank has only partly paid Rs 50 crore. Coca Cola's deal was largely by way of services. TV revenues yet to be calculated. Fearing misappropriation, the finance ministry has created a separate account for sponsorship revenue, but very little has come in so far. Officially, OC claims a revenue of Rs 600 crore. Even this leaves losses of Rs 1,200 crore
Probe status: Investigated by CAG

6. Games Website
The site was virtually useless during the Games as it failed to provide automatic updates. The mess was the result of an expensive piece of technology, the timing, scoring & results (TSR) system, a key requirement in modern sporting events. Commonwealth Games Federation was forced to set up an alternative system midway through the Games
Money: : The system was procured by
OC for Rs 112 crore, five times more than what Melbourne paid during the 2006 Games
Probe status: Not known

7. Tennis surface
In a clear case of conflict of interest, the contract for laying 14 synthetic surfaces at the RK Khanna Tennis Stadium was awarded to a company whose Indian branch was headed by the son of Organizing Committee treasurer Anil Khanna. Khanna, also the secretary of the All India Tennis Association (AITA), stepped down from OC treasurer's post the day TOI's report was published
Money: Around Rs 8 lakh on laying each of the 14 synthetic courts
Status: The issue was put on backburner after Khanna's resignation

8. Catering
Though catering for athletes at the Village was a hit, food for the general public as well as the staff and workforce at the venues was panned. Spectators couldn't find food or water inside many venues even as staffers complained of "smelly" and contaminated food
Money: Rs 100 crore (Village); Rs 9 crore (workforce); Rs 92 lakh (venues)
Probe status: Main caterer, Aggarwal Foods, removed midway through Games. Nobody hauled up for shoddy service

9. Merchandising
CWG merchandise was supposed to have hit the market by July 2010 but actually became available in September. The deal with Premier Brands fell through in the interim and was thereafter revived as no other vendors were interested. Midway through the Games, merchandise disappeared from markets even as OC and the vendor kept insisting everything was fine
Money earned: Rs 5.2cr plus Rs 2.6cr as advance to OC
Probe status: Expected to be under scanner of investigating agencies

10. Accreditation
Accreditation for 22,000 volunteers, over 2,000 staff and thousands of media, sportspersons and delegates was to be finished by September. In reality, the accreditation went on till the Games were on, with Delhi police claiming they had verified 84,000 applications. This when only 17,000 volunteers actually got accreditation and several staffers were left out of the loop
Probe status: Under investigation

11. Parking
MCD was supposed to construct 24 conventional parking sites out of which at least four were to be ready before the Games. Not one was completed by October 3. Eventually, the civic agency claimed these projects had no direct link to the Games. Work on the two stack parking sites at Paharganj and Karol Bagh was also never taken up. "Of the 24 parking sites, 50% were rejected by EPCA. Only 12 of them are being constructed now. They will be complete by September 2011. As for stack parking sites, we did not start work on them as we were not happy with the material being used and decided to defer work till after the Games," said an MCD official
Probe status: Not under probe

12. Railway underbridges, overbridges
This project, like many of MCD's other projects, had a Games deadline initially. But the civic agency later said it had nothing to do with the Games and was not supposed to be completed by October 2010. Out of the 16 railway bridges, only 13 were taken up eventually. "The ones related directly to the Games include the railway underbridge at Prem Nagar - which has been inaugurated - and the one being constructed at Vivek Vihar. We have finished our work at Vivek Vihar and the railways has to do its bit now. We hope that the railways will finish work by March 31. The other projects will only be completed by September 2011.
Probe status: Not under probe

13. Connaught Place
The CP redevelopment plan initially had an October 2010 deadline. Facade improvement in 16 blocks, upgrading of subways by installing escalators and construction of eight new subways were some elements of the plan. Work started only in 2009 and, with the entire area being dug up, permission for construction of only three new subways was given. Faced with the prospect of missing deadlines, NDMC claimed CP was never supposed to be a Games project. The dug up areas were hurriedly filled up. Subway work was stopped. No escalators were installed and facade work wasn't completed. NDMC now claims that the work will be completed by June 2011
Probe status: Not under probe

14. Chandni Chowk, Paharganj, Karol Bagh
MCD has been planning the redevelopment of Chandni Chowk for more than six years now. Before the Games, the civic agency claimed it would at least reconstruct the central verge in the Walled City. This did not happen and, worse, Chandni Chowk may not get its promised facelift even after the Games. According to MCD officials the project has been put on the backburner and the civic agency will now look into its viability. MCD was also given the responsibility of beautifying Paharganj and Karol Bagh. While it managed to complete some work, it's still carrying out streetscaping and work on laying underground cables
Probe status: Not under probe

15. Shivaji, Talkatora stadiums
With both the stadiums under the CVC scanner, the executive engineer incharge of these stadiums, V K Gulati, was suspended by NDMC last week. Controversies surrounding the stadiums include cost escalation and sub-standard material used in construction.

16. Toilets-cum-coffee houses
Shrouded in controversy since its inception, seven such complexes have been constructed till date. Even these are unlikely to be opened anytime soon. MCD had said 250 toilets-cum-coffee houses would be ready by Games. The civic agency now claims that this was a Games-related project. In fact, the complex at Bahadurshah Zafar Marg was demolished since the company constructing the toilet complex did not participate in the financial and technical bid
Probe status: Panel formed to look into desirability of these complexes

17. CWG Village
Started in 2008, the Village was plagued by controversies — few takers in the beginning, shortage of labour during construction and finally, filthy flats allotted to teams as OC, DDA and Emaar MGF passed the buck. Now, DDA plans to sell the flats to state authorities
Money: DDA paid a bailout amount of Rs 750cr to Emaar MGF, plus Rs 827cr for the international zone
Probe status: No probe though DDA has invoked Emaar MGF's bank guarantee for not fulfiling its responsibility. Emaar MGF has gone to court

18. Yamuna sports complex roof collapse
On July 13, a section of the false ceiling in the state-of-the-art Yamuna Sports complex came crashing down. The reason given was the incessant rain — rainwater had apparently accumulated on the roof. The result was that the YSC was delayed by a further fortnight even as it was already woefully behind schedule
Money spent: Allotted Rs 263cr, finally built for Rs 291cr
Probe status: Not under probe

19. Vasant Kunj Flats
Yet another DDA project that started late and couldn't be finished in time. Over 5,000 3-star flats were to be built and furnished for the Games. Only 2,000 flats were ultimately handed over, of which, barely 600 were actually used by the OC, which put up its delegates in hotels instead. The move later created logistical problems during the Games
Money: Rs 265cr, which later went up to more than Rs 300cr
Probe status: DDA refused to order a probe, claiming it had fulfiled its obligations. Now, flats part of the next housing scheme

20. DU hostels
For over three months, students of the university had to stay in off-campus accommodation as the hostels were closed for renovation and expected occupation by thousands of tourists. They never materialized. In fact, not one of the 2,000 rooms were let out during CWG, prompting both the varsity and students to wonder why the hostels were vacated
Money: Rs 10 crore (approx)
Probe status: None ordered

21. Health Services
Ambulances were a sore point. The original plan of having 450 ambulances did not materialize. The Delhi government could buy only 31 a week before the Games. Another 20 were arranged from government hospitals. Around 64 ice-making machines for the Village and venues were procured but were installed only after requests from teams
Money: Rs 30 crore
Probe status: None ordered

22. Volunteers
Around 30,000 were trained and 22,000 were to be deployed. In the event, only 17,000 turned up for the job or got accreditation. Many who did get accreditation disappeared after picking up the volunteer's kit comprising a uniform, shoes from Reebok and other goodies. And while many did a praiseworthy job, volunteers in general got a bad name due to a few who were clueless about what they were doing in the venue. They were trained by Amity for free in lieu of brand association with OC
Probe status: None ordered

23. Roads, Streetscaping
All major PWD road projects were delayed due to clearance delays, land transfer and rain. The Rs 435-crore elevated Barapullah Nullah Road, built for fast connectivity from the Games Village, was delayed by almost four months. The Ring Road Bypass too missed its July 2010 deadline while the UP Link Road is not yet complete. PWD spent Rs 275 crore on streetscaping about 42km of roads. MCD and NDMC spent Rs 106 crore on beautifying 21 streets. On several stretches, pavements in good condition were uprooted
Probe status: CVC probing road projects

24. JN fall, Velodrome leak
Days before the Games, around 10 tiles fell from the roof of the weightlifting stadium inside the JN Stadium complex built by CPWD. The reason given was a trespasser had walked on the roof! Rs 80cr had been spent on the stadium. Less than a month to the Games, the Rs 150cr IG velodrome sprung a leak, leading to minor damage to the imported wooden flooring of the cycle track. This led to delays in completion of the velodrome

Read more: TOI's chargesheet on Delhi games - The Times of India

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