Commonwealth Games

India probes Delhi Games

2010-10-16 08:25
2010 Commonwealth Games

New Delhi -The Indian government has launched an official investigation into allegations of corruption and mismanagement during the preparations for the Delhi Commonwealth Games, reports said Saturday.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) national watchdog ordered the probe into various Games-related projects a day after Thursday's closing ceremony, the Press Trust of India said.

"The audit work for the Commonwealth Games is related to work payments, contracts and leasing of sports equipment among others," the official news agency said.

A high-powered panel of investigators headed by a former chief of the CAG will submit its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by January.

The panel will look into "the organisation and conduct of the Games, fix responsibility for the alleged irregularities and also prepare a dossier on the lessons learnt for future events," , The Indian Express newspaper said.

The October 3-14 event involving 71 nations was the costliest Commonwealth Games in history, with an initial organising budget of two billion dollars that was estimated to have swollen to at least three times that size.

The soaring costs and highly publicised construction delays fuelled intense criticism of the Games organising committee, in particular its chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

An Indian anti-corruption body in August reported a plethora of problems with construction work, including the use of poor-quality materials and dubious contracts.

The allegations also sparked two days of heated debate in parliament in August.

In a poll published Saturday in the Times of India, 86 percent of respondents said the corruption charges should be fully investigated and the guilty brought to book.

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