Dikshit did not influence CWG contract: Official (Lead)

August 4th, 2011 - 10:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) In the wake of a leaked Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report indicting Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of irregularities in awarding contracts for the Commonwealth Games, the Delhi chief secretary Thursday said she had not influenced the decision to give the contract to remove debris to a particular company.

Ecosmart, a division of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS;), was given the contract to remove debris from the city during the preparation of the Games.

“It is baseless that Sheila Dikshit gave the direction to give the contract to this company. Whatever decision had been taken in the administration was right. This company was already working in three zones of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD),” Chief Secretary P.K. Tripathi said.

The chief minister, Tripathi said, decided that all the civic agencies should be involved in removing the debris. It was decided that a committee consisting of the chief engineers of MCD, Public Works Department (PWD) and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) will finalise the issue and give their recommendations.

Tripathi said that multiple agencies were being involved in removing debris, and hence it became necessary to involve a single agency in this work.

“This was the only company which was capable of lifting all the debris from the entire city and the decision was taken because the honour of the country was at stake,” Tripathi said.

He maintained that rates paid to each truck for carrying the per metric tonnes of debris were decided on the basis of distance and the company was not paid a flat rate of Rs.280 per truck.

“The company has been efficient in removing the debris and given a chance we will award them the contract again. So it is baseless that there was political interference in awarding Ecosmart the contract,” he added.

Ecosmart also has the specialisation to recycle waste material, Tripathi said.

“The CAG report has not been tabled yet. When it will be tabled, then the chief minister will give her reply,” he said, adding that he was replying only to newspapers reports.

Replying to allegations that Dikshit’s relatives were employed with the company, he said: “Her relative was not part of the board of directors, which is the decision-making part of the company.”

Meanwhile, opposition parties Thursday demanded Sheila Dikshit’s resignation.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat said Dikshit should leave the post until her name is cleared.

“Dikshit must resign till the matter is over,” she said.

“After the Shunglu committee, it is now the CAG that has seriously indicted her. These are independent agencies not appointed by the BJP or any other party, but the government. She must face the law and leave the post,” said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Tarun Vijay.

BJP general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “If now a little sense of conscience is left in Sheila Dikshit, she has to resign, and if she does not, Dr. Manmohan Singh, please fulfill you assurance on the floor of the house that once the Shunglu committee report comes, appropriate action will be taken.”

The issue also echoed in the Rajya Sabha, as the opposition demanded that the government table the CAG report in parliament.

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