Monday, August 9, 2010

cwg reply on tuesday

9 Aug 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Monday continued a day-long debate on the irregularities and delay in preparations for the Commonwealth Games and shall continue for the second day on Tuesday as large number of members sought to express concern over the prestige of India put at stake from all sorts of corruptions suddenly coming to light.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal intervened to plead with the Chair late in the evening to allow Sports Minister M S Gill give a substantive reply to the debate only on Tuesday, adding that the spill-over can enable more members to participate. The House was adjourned for the day at 7 pm.

The business advisory committee (BAC) of the House has fixed a debate on Tuesday on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, sought by 23 members led by Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj. Bansal pleaded that this debate can be shifted to Wednesday if the CWG debate continues on Tuesday.

Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy intervened to slap the Opposition members claiming waste of over Rs 1 lakh crores by the government in hosting the mega event, pointing out that all that the Centre has sanctioned to various agencies for the Games was just Rs 11,494 crores. He ridiculed the Opposition for cooking up a false and fantastic figure of the Games costing the nation over Rs 1 lakh crores.

He also pointed out that Delhi Government's total spent on the preparations was altogether 16,560 crores, including Rs 2800 crores provided by the Centre. As regards the organising committee headed by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chairman and Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi, the minister said the government has provided it Rs 2394 crores only as loan, expecting it to refund from the revenue earned in organising the games.

A score of Opposition members tried to interrupt Reddy giving out break-up of spend on each account, but the Chair disallowed all questions on the ground that he was just intervening and not replying to the debate.

Reddy pointed out that Rs 3000 crores and odd have been spent only on expanding the Metro Railway network up to Noida and Gurgaon which should not be treated as direct expenditure for the Games to show huge spends and claim them wasteful. Even the stadiums renovated or built would remain forever and as such expenditure on them should not be dubbed wasteful for a 14-day extravaganza.

The minister said most of the venues, including the Games Village, are ready while other venues including the Siri Fort sports complex, tennis stadium and some others will be ready well in time by August 31 for the Games that start only on October 3. Stadiums for practice and training shall also be ready by August 31 and hence there should be no worry that the players who start arriving in Delhi for the Games from mid-September would have no place to practice, Reddy added.


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