Dikshit nailed by CAG, opposition demands resignation (Third Lead)

August 5th, 2011 - 10:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) The Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government was Friday indicted by the government auditor for various irregularities during the Commonwealth Games (CWG), but the chief minister put up a brave face and said she would answer to a parliamentary panel as the opposition demanded her resignation.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said the chief minister was in the know of wasteful expenditure to the tune of Rs.30 crore related to streetlighting during the October mega event.

Addressing the media, Rekha Gupta, deputy CAG, said there were numerous instances of “single tendering” and the awarding of contracts to “ineligible vendors”. But, in the 743-page report, Sheila Dikshit has not been named. She has only been mentioned as chief minister.

Stating that there was “active involvement of the (Delhi) chief minister”, Gupta said favours were granted to vendors who were not qualified.

The CAG report clearly mentions irregularities by Delhi government in contracts given for street lighting, potted plants, street-scaping, communication system, flooring and construction of roads and bridges.

The report slams the city’s entire civic agencies from Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Public Works Department (PWD).

Addressing media persons, Dikshit refused to comment on the allegations.

“I assure you that when the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report goes to PAC, in accordance with established practice, whatever departments are asked to come before the PAC and answer any queries the honourable members of PAC may ask, we will cooperate with them completely and fully,” she said.

The direct indictment of Dikshit was fodder for the opposition, who raised shrill demands for her resignation.

According to the CAG report, the decision to use imported street lights on selected roads was not based on technical parameters, but was taken with the active involvement of the chief minister, which resulted in avoidable expenditure of more than Rs.30 crore.

As far as greening near the CWG venues was concerned, the Delhi government proposed creation of 30-50 lakh potted plants. The proposal was approved by Dikshit in August 2008.

The CAG report could not find any venue wise break-up of the plants required or any other yardstick in support of the assessment of the requirement of plants.

The city government undertook construction of 25 roads and bridges near games venue for upgradation of city infrastructure.

The CAG found that there was irregular award of work in two road projects and noticed cases of non-compliance with quality standards.

For effective communication around the games venue, Delhi government awarded the contract for Tetra - professional mobile communications — to HCL-Motorola at Rs.99.81 crore for an 87-month period - covering the games period and seven years of legacy.

The CAG found that the decision to extend Tetra for legacy use for seven years was ill-conceived.

Demanding her resignation, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said: “I think now it is the only moral duty of Dikshit that she must resign.”

Dikshit has been chief minister of Delhi since 1998. This is her third term.

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