Racing against time,the government on Thursday formed a committee of senior bureaucrats to oversee the work at the Commonwealth Games venues,virtually stripping organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi of his powers.
Each member of the government panel has been assigned particular stadiums to ensure that the work is completed in time for the Games,which are just 45 days away. Officers of the rank of joint and additional secretaries have been taken in the panel which will report to the Cabinet secretary.
A concerned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to step in after allegations of corruption and delay in construction delays hit the Games.
Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi in her address to party Mps said,The success of the Games is that of our country not of any party or any individual…The prestige of the nation is involved, she said.
I trust that as soon as the Games are over,the government will look into the allegations of malpractice and spare no one found to be involved in them.
Last week,Singh called a meeting with Jaipal Reddy,who heads the GoM overseeing the Games,Kalmadi,sports minister MS Gill,Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna to take stock of the preparations. Cabinet secretary KM Chandrashekar also attended this meeting. Besides promising action against those found guilty of corruption,Singh will also tour some of the venues in the last week of this month.
Meanwhile,two state-run firms have withdrawn their sponsorship of the Games due to negative publicity of the event stemming from allegations of graft and mismanagement. NTPC has decided to scrap its Rs 50-crore sponsorship deal and is seeking an audit of the Rs 20 crore it has already paid.
Our board has decided not to go ahead with the sponsorship because of the negative publicity, NTPC chairman and managing director RS Sharma said Thursday. State-run transmission utility Power Grid Corp of India has also decided to back out of its Rs 100 million rupees commitment to the Games,its chairman SK Chaturvedi said.