Indian Audit Slams Govt on 2010 Commonwealth Games

Posted August 5th, 2011 at 10:25 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Auditors are accusing the Indian government of mismanagement, favoritism and corruption in the planning and execution of last year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

The final audit by India's Comptroller and Auditor General, which was released Friday, says millions of dollars were wasted in the construction of venues and in improvements to New Delhi's infrastructure.

The Commonwealth Games were the biggest sporting spectacle India had staged in 30 years, and were expected to mark a high point in the country's emergence on the global stage. But the event turned into a huge national embarrassment as charges of large-scale graft, delays, poor organization and shoddy work at sporting venues dominated headlines.

The event cost $6 billion — far higher than initial estimates.

In its report, the Comptroller and Auditor General questioned the prime minister's appointment of Suresh Kalmadi as head of the games' organizing committee, despite objections from the then-sports minister. Kalmadi is currently in jail on corruption charges.

The audit also cited irregularities in the awarding of contracts, including limiting competing bids in order to favor certain vendors.

The report says that New Delhi's top elected leader, Sheila Dikshit, spent excessively on street lights and other infrastructure to beautify the Indian capital.

India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday called for Dikshit's resignation in light of the latest audit.