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Saturday, August 6, 2011

CWG SCAM: CAG: consultants selection for beautification project arbitrary!


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Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar, The Hindu / NEW DELHI, August 5, 2011.

QUESTIONS REMAIN: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit after a Cabinet meeting on the CAG report on Commonwealth Games, in New Delhi on Friday.
QUESTIONS REMAIN: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit after a Cabinet meeting on the CAG report on Commonwealth Games, in New Delhi on Friday - PTI.

In award of works, there was a wasteful expenditure of over Rs. 100 crore

The Performance Audit Report of the Commonwealth Games 2010, released by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India on Friday, has indicted Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and the Delhi government for causing losses running into hundreds of crores to the exchequer.

Addressing a press conference here, Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta said: “In our view, the street-scaping and beautification project was ill-conceived and ill-planned, without a broad overarching vision and perspective of how this would impact urban design and development. The project was largely a consultant-driven project, with the selection of consultants being arbitrary and non-transparent, and without any common design guidelines and targeted budgetary estimates.”

Ms. Gupta said, “This resulted in adoption of richer specifications in an arbitrary and inconsistent manner in different packages. We found the average awarded works for street-scaping and beautification works of Rs. 4.8 crore/km to be exorbitant with a total estimated wasteful expenditure of more than Rs. 100 crore.”

The CAG, while acknowledging the “marked improvement in illumination levels of Delhi roads brought about by the implementation of the street lighting project,” however, criticised the decision to use imported luminaries on selected ‘A' category of roads, saying it was “not based on technical parameters.” Noting that this decision was “taken with the active involvement of the CM,” the CAG said it “resulted in avoidable expenditure of more than Rs.30 crore.”

Further, “the procurement price of imported luminaries was far higher than the fair prices.” Also, Ms. Gupta said, “We found restrictive tendering conditions imposed by the Public Works Department, as well as a deficient ‘design-based' tendering approach followed by the New Delhi Municipal Council.”


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