Games: CM asks Montek for funds

After Finance Minister A K Walia asked all civic agencies in the Capital to rework and whittle down budget estimates for various Commonwealth Games projects earlier this month,Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit met Montek Singh Ahluwalia...

Written by Esha Roy | New Delhi | Published: January 20, 2009 12:23 am

After Finance Minister A K Walia asked all civic agencies in the Capital to rework and whittle down budget estimates for various Commonwealth Games projects earlier this month,Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit met Montek Singh Ahluwalia,deputy chairperson of the Planning Commission,on Monday to request for more funds for the approaching Games.

Senior officials in the Delhi government said the Planning Commission has agreed in principle to forward Rs 500 crore to the government,so that it has the funds for implementing the projects.

Even though the Delhi government’s 2008 budget had targeted an expenditure of Rs 9,000 crore,officials said the cost of implementing various projects surpassed initial estimates. “We had not anticipated such an increase in project cost. Also,a number of projects,which had not been anticipated but are now considered essential to the Games,were added to the Games projects list. Their cost had not been factored in initially,” a senior government official said.

Some projects that had not been considered include street-scaping and parking projects across Delhi. These will cost the government Rs 400 crore to implement.

The upgrading of drainage and sewers around the airport will cost an estimated Rs 250 crore.

“Even in case of venues there have been additions. For instance,Chattrasal Stadium was to be upgraded for training of athletes. Now,the entire stadium will be revamped and it will be used for other events like flag hoisting. The landscaping of various venues across the city had also not been planned beforehand but has now become essential,” a senior official said.

The Delhi government and the Planning Commission will now work out how the funds will be disseminated and tracked.

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