Govt draws blank on CWG cost

Govt draws blank on CWG cost

Sports Ministry puts expenses at Rs 11,494 cr, Tourism Ministry at Rs 87,500 cr

Govt draws blank on CWG cost

Various ministries and agencies have quoted different numbers and from different sources, which vastly disagree with each other.  Sports Minister M  S Gill has said the Games would cost Rs 11,494 crore, but in the estimates of Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy the figure is Rs 28,054 crore. The Ministry of Tourism said it is
Rs 87,500 crore, whereas the Games Organising Committee (OC) director general put it as Rs 10,000 crore at various times.

Gill and Reddy gave their figures in Parliament and Tourism Ministry cited Wikipedia as its source. The OC, in response to an RTI application by NGO Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) said “the break up of the figure cannot be provided by the OC.”

In response to another RTI inquiry by HLRN on June 28, the Delhi government said its Planning Department had received Rs 2,450 crore from the Centre for organising the CWG from the years 2007-08 to 2010-11.

On the other hand, a reply from the Finance Ministry’s Department of Economic Affairs (Budget Division) on July 15 said that Delhi government received Rs 2,800 crore between years 2007-08 to 2010-11 to build CWG infrastructure.

HLRN, which has analysed the figures and had pointed out the huge gaps in the sums that is claimed to have been spent, pointed out the gap of Rs 350 crore between the figures cited.

The Finance Department of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation said in reply to another RTI query on August 2 that the total actual expenditure on the CWG up to June 2010 as Rs 196.26 crore. “A mere addition of the various costs presented in the RTI, however, reveals that the total is actually Rs 392.365 crore,” says HLRN.

In another instance of disparity in the expense figures, an RTI reply from Public Works Department (PWD) on April 13 stated that the proposed expenditure for the Ring Road bypass from Salimgarh Fort to Velodrome Road was Rs 456 crore. Another letter from the same department dated May 25 cites the proposed expenditure for the same as Rs 654 crore.

Less spending

HLRN also pointed out after analysing the data it has got through RTI applications that for most departments, the total expenditure shown is generally less than the budgeted amount, “which gives rise to the critical question as to why the Government of Delhi is constantly requesting more funds from the Centre to organise the Games”.

The responses HLRN sought from the OC and various other agencies to understand the extent of spending, has only shown  there has been poor coordination between different agencies working on the Games.

“What is clear is that expenditures on the Games continue to spiral out of control, with no government agency or official aware of the total cost or accountable for the expenses and mismanagement of funds,” HLRN has said disclosing the discrepancies.

“When crores of public funds are being spent on a one time extravaganza that the country can ill afford and that the majority of Indians do not support, the least the government can do is provide transparency and accountability,” it says.

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