More Delhi projects under corruption watchdog scanner

2010-10-18 13:43

India’s Central Vigilance Commission has widened its investigations into alleged financial and administrative irregularities related to the Commonwealth Games, news reports said today.

The graft watchdog has included the purchase of medical equipment and the selection of corrupt project officers in the ambit of its probe into financial scams related to the two-week games that concluded in Delhi on Thursday, PTI news agency reported.

The CVC was examining at least 22 games-related projects for irregularities, the report said.

The CVC has also asked government agencies involved in the preparations for the games to submit replies to its questions by October 31.

The days leading to the Commonwealth Games were dogged by allegations of irregularities in the awarding of contracts and purchases and the use of sub-standard material for shoddy construction work.

A group of Indian ministers, set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to oversee preparations after widespread allegations of fraud, is scheduled to meet today for the first times after the games ended.

The group is expected to discuss the various investigations, as well as other issues.

The meeting is to be chaired by federal Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy and the games organising committee chairperson Suresh Kalmadi is expected to be present.

“The games have been staged really successfully but all complaints or alleged irregularities regarding transactions by any agencies must be thoroughly looked into,” Reddy said.

At least 20 different agencies were involved in the preparations for the games with a budget that shot up almost 10-fold from an original estimate of 12 billion rupees (about R1.8billion) to about 114.94 billion rupees.

On Friday the prime minister ordered a three-month investigation into corruption allegations by a former auditor-general.

The government had assured a parliament rocked by the fraud allegations in August that all charges of financial irregularities would be thoroughly investigated once the games were over.

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