Money wasted on potted plants

August 5th, 2011 - 8:16 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) Poor coordination rendered the large amounts of money spent on procuring potted plants to green Commonwealth Games venues a total waste, India’s top auditor said Friday.

The secretary of environment and forests in Delhi Government decided to arrange for 60 lakh plants either locally or from other states, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said in a report.

The Delhi Development Authority, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi’s forest department and the Delhi Parks and Garden Society were told to procure 10 lakh plants each.

The PWB and CPWD were asked to get five lakh plants each.

The CAG report that the target for procurement of potted plants was set 20 percent higher than the amount estimated earlier and approved by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

But Delhi Police made it clear that the plants had to be kept away from the venues and routes to the stadia due to security reasons.

Even after learning about the police objection, the plants continued to be procured, for Rs.44 to Rs.65 per plant.

“The original objective of greening the venues could not be achieved in the light of the advice of the police commissioner, rendering the expenditure wasteful.”

The PWD told the CAG officials that while some plants perished later, many were given away to government offices.

But the CAG could not find the plants reportedly given to others. “We visited two of those sites at random and could not find the potted plants stated to have been issued.”

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