Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: Commonwealth games corruption

Shunglu Committee is an eyewash

On 15/10/2010 Shunglu Committee was appointed to probe into Commonwealth Games corruption. It was given 90 days time. Someone said it was cover-up. The corrupt people had two months for cover-up before Commonwealth Games and now they have three months. V. K. Shunglu was a CAG. He is out of country, no idea when he will return, may be after 90 days.

On 23/10/2010 on Big Fight on NDTV 24×7 a panellist said Shunglu Committee is an eyewash. It has no powers. Under what law it is appointed? Can it question Manmohan Singh? Can it question Sonia Gandhi? This is not the time for political correctness. Money has gone all the way to the top. Money has gone to Suresh Kalmadi, Sheila Dikshit, Jaipal Reddy. Money has gone to Manmohan Singh. Money has gone to Sonia Gandhi. A junior engineer will be punished. The panellist said that.

Commonwealth Games are over but OC continues. IOA officials continue in their positions. Nothing has changed. Now IOA officials want to bid for Asian Games 2019 and want approval from Sports Ministry. They say only two new stadia are to be built. When the bidding took place for Commonwealth Games the amount quoted was around 350 crore rupees. It went going up and according to one source around 1,02,000 crore rupees were spent for Commonwealth Games. The amount includes various projects for Delhi but the projects would not have been undertaken if there were no Commonwealth Games. Amount needed for Asian Games will keep going up. Money will be spent on renovation of existing stadia that will be 10 times the amount of building new stadia.

People in the media who should be exposing corruption are not doing their job. One editor defends Suresh Kalmadi. TV channels have not come out with details of thousands of crores of rupees siphoned off. We have details of few lakhs or few crores. Few people’s offices have been raided, one of them Sudhanshu Mittal, a BJP member.

Manmohan Singh is responsible for the files he signed for sanction of funds and escalation. Other ministers are responsible for the files they signed.

Delhi is back to normal after Commonwealth Games. Beggars, street vendors, stray dogs, blue line buses and traffic jams are back. Students were made to vacate hostels to accommodate visitors for Commonwealth Games but there were no visitors.

Someone said investigation into corruption in Asian Games 1982 is going on after 28 years. I had not heard of such investigation and perhaps the person was joking.

Some cite Hong Kong as an example of how corruption can be fought and eradicated. People of Hong Kong came out on streets and protested against corruption saying they will not tolerate corruption any more. Corrupt officials were removed. It will be great if people of India can do that.

Commonwealth Games falling apart

Commonwealth Games are falling apart.

Commonwealth Games Village are filthy. Electrical appliances are unsafe. Doors do not close. Bathrooms fixtures do not work. Stray dogs and faeces are everywhere. Canada, New Zealand, England, Scotland and Wales delegates have told their athletes will not stay in the Village. They want hotel accommodation. Foot over bridge at Jawaharlal Nehru has collapsed and 23 labourers injured.

The mayor of the Village blamed MCD for the dogs. It was mayor’s responsibility to see that the Village was safe and secure.

Jaipal Reddy, Urban Development Minister and in-charge of the Games, said the bridge collapse is a minor incident. For him lives of labourers do not matter. The bridge was not for athletes or officials. Delhi’s PWD minister said the bridge is not necessary and it does not matter if the bridge is not ready for the Games. People can use the road.

Mohinder Singh Gill and others had compared the Games to big fat Indian wedding. Everything will fall in place at the end. That was a wrong analogy. At weddings groom and bride can keep the people waiting. That is not the case for the Games.

Suresh Kalmadi did not address the media. Lalit Bhanot said hygiene standards of some countries are different from hygiene standards of India. That statement was disgusting.

Some days back reporters had a tour of the Commonwealth Games Village Kitchen and they found it state of the art. They were not shown the living rooms. There was no investigative journalism by TV channels to find out the truth about the Village being ready.

Security is an issue. Shooting outside Gate No. 3 of Jama Masjid on 19/9/2010 was cited as a reason by an Australian athlete for pulling out of Commonwealth Games.

When the first report of corruption in Commonwealth Games was out some said the amount was just one crore rupees or at the most two crore rupees. Now it is known that the magnitude of corruption is thousands of crores of rupees. Those who spoke of ignoring corruption are silent.

There is no time for cover-ups. Whatever is wrong will be known soon and no excuse will do.

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