New Delhi: Expanding its net, the Central Vigilance Commission is looking into alleged irregularities in the execution of 71 Commonwealth Games-related projects worth several crores by government civic and construction agencies.

Of the 71 projects, 23 were related to Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, 14 by Organising Committee, nine by Delhi Development Authority and six by Central Public Works
Department, the anti-corruption watchdog said in reply to a recent RTI query filed by PTI.

Besides, four works carried out by Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), three each by Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and two projects done by New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) were being investigated by the CVC.

According to the RTI reply, the CVC has referred five cases of alleged criminal conspiracy and corruption by government officials to CBI for further probe. Besides, the Commission has closed investigations in two other cases related to the Games.

Whereas, one work each related to Delhi Police, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Sports Authority of India, Urban Development Ministry, MTNL, Central Institute of Road Transport and RITES, a Government of India enterprise were also enquired by the Commission, an year after the sporting extravaganza held in the national capital.

The 71 cases exclude 26 cases worth Rs 3,316.58 crore being probed by the CVC. Of the 26 projects, six were done by Public Works Department, five by OC, four by MCD, three each by NDMC and CPWD, two each by DDA, India Tourism Development Corporation and one by RITES.

"Irregularity in appointment of R K Sacheti, Joint Director General without proper education or professional qualification to hold this kind of high responsibility. Report received from the Chief Vigilance Officer, Ministry of Youth Affairs and after examination the Commission has decided to forward the matter to CBI for investigation and report, which is awaited," the CVC said.

The matter being investigated by the Commission includes alleged financial and managerial irregularities in Games telecasting rights, construction of stadia, procurement of secure communication network (Tetra), tender process, sale of VIP passes, lapses in managing 'Danpatra' kept in CWG 2010 and supply of sub-standard food packets to Delhi Police staff among others.

"A complaint regarding irregularities in purchase of 34 different medical items for CWG by Delhi Health Services, Govt of NCT of Delhi, purchase of items from different sellers at highly inflated prices has been alleged. Investigation report has been called from Govt of NCT of Delhi, which is still awaited," it said.

According to the reply, irregularities in sponsorship contract with M/s Smile International for mobile and information services have been found. "The Commission has forwarded the matter to the CBI for investigation and report, which is awaited," it read.

Other than CVC, CBI and Enforcement Directorate are also looking into various complaints of graft and violations of government norms.

Sacked Organising Committee Chief Suresh Kalmadi and Secretary General Lalit Bhanot among others are lodged in Tihar Jail for their alleged involvement in malpractices in conducting of the sporting event held here between October 3 and 14 last year.

Delhi government struggles to spend funds

Hit by allegations of corruption in CWG projects, the Delhi government is now struggling to
implement fresh projects and spend plan outlay of Rs 13,600 crore.

In the first six months of the fiscal, the government could only spend Rs 1,800 crore which is just 13 per cent of the total plan outlay, a top official said.

The government now has the onerous challenge of spending the remaining Rs 11,800 crore by March 31, next year, if it wants to ensure full utilisation of the plan outlay in the current financial year.

The spendings by various departments have not picked up any momentum despite directions being issued to them from time-to-time.

Admitting slowing down of the decision making process, the official attributed it to apprehensions among officials about facing scrutiny of agencies like Comptroller and Auditor General in future.

"We are really struggling to spend the money in this fiscal as decision making process has slowed down following probe by various agencies into the CWG projects," the official said.

While presenting Rs 27,067-crore budget in March, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had set aside Rs 13,600 crore for plan expenditure for 2011-12.

The official said, bureaucrats are particularly jittery about taking decisions as some of the decisions taken in the run up to the Commonwealth Games to ensure speedy implementation of certain projects were severely slammed by CAG as well as Shunglu Committee.

Dissatisfied with the pace of various developmental schemes and utilisation of funds, Dikshit had written a letter to all her ministerial colleagues last week asking them to expedite utilisation of the funds.

In September, Chief Secretary P K Tripathi had also asked departments to ensure speedy implementation of various developmental schemes.

A senior PWD official, asked about reason for slowing down of implementation of various projects by the agency, said that the allegations levelled by CAG and Shunglu Committee have seriously dented the confidence of engineers.

"It is fact. We did all the hard work in the run up to the Games to complete the projects. The extraordinary situation warranted certain decisions but see how we were being targeted," the official said.

The bureaucrats are apparently unhappy about government's position that the ministers were not at all involved in any alleged wrongdoings in award of contracts or in tender process for Games projects as all such decisions were taken by officials and technical experts.

Washing her hands off any alleged irregularities, Dikshit speaking in the Assembly in August had sought to put the onus on the babus saying various technical committees having  officials and experts were set up to take decisions on award of contracts and tender process.

The CAG as well as Shunglu Committee had severely slammed the Delhi government for alleged irregularities in certain CWG projects.

The Central Vigilance Committee had also pointed out irregularities in certain CWG projects.

(Agencies)