[Assam] Will Someone Please Do The Math
cmahanta at gmail.com
Mon Aug 2 18:33:52 IST 2010
Will someone please do the math and see how Mai-Baap in Dilli is doing on the corruption index, compared to the worst
of the worst states as recently declared in assamnet?
NEW DELHI: If you have a mania for fitness and want nothing less than the very best treadmill, Harrods of London can sell you the exercise machine for £10,000, or about Rs 7 lakh. Now, how much do you think Suresh Kalmadi and his Commonwealth Games organising panel should pay to rent — rent, mind you, not buy — a treadmill for 45 days?
If you discovered that they are paying Rs 9,75,000 in taxpayer money just to hire a treadmill for a month and a half, would you not be exercised by it?
If you are, you may want to rest a little and recover your poise. How about on a chair being hired by Mr Kalmadi and his cohorts at Rs 8,378 apiece? Or how about cooling yourself off with a drink from a 100-litre refrigerator which the Congress politician and his colleagues are hiring for Rs 42,202 each?
The deals for the chairs, treadmills and refrigerators are just a sampling of the common-sense-defying contracts that have been awarded for Delhi 2010, which is less than two months away and enveloped in a thick cloak of scandal. Mr Kalmadi has denied any wrongdoing, maintaining that he has nothing to do with the projects that have attracted the attention of the Central Vigilance Commission.
But the deals for the overlays — the treadmills, chairs, refrigerators and suchlike that form part of the temporary infrastructure meant only for the duration of the Games — have Mr Kalmadi’s fingerprints on them. They have been cleared by the Organising Committee, of which he is the chairman.
The overlays deals total about Rs 650 crore and have been awarded to four contractors, three of them having an Indian and foreign partner each. The most lucrative deals, worth Rs 230 crore, have gone to the PICO-Deepali consortium, documents in possession of ET show.
Deepali Design and Exhibits, the Indian partner, is founded by Vinay Mittal, the nephew of BJP’s ‘tentwallah’ Sudhanshu Mittal. Other companies which have won contracts include GL Meroform, Nussli, a Swiss firm, and the ESG Arena D Art Indo consortium.
Organising panel defends rates
While Nussli told ET in an emailed response that it has been asked by its client not to speak on rates, Meroform said they were high because of the premium nature of the products. “Our rates are standard rates on major international sporting events. They include delivery, installation, testing, maintenance, dismantling, removal, and shipping where applicable,” says Rupna Bino of Meroform. D Art India did not comment on its role in supplying the major overlays apart from saying it was providing “local support”. The company did not elaborate on what it meant by this.
The organising panel sees nothing incongruous about the deals. Lalit Bhanot, the spokesman for the games and secretary of the panel, reasoned that “one of the companies that is supplying to us has assured us that their rates for the Commonwealth Games in India are lower than what they are charging for the London Olympics in 2012”. Moreover, Mr Bhanot and his aides argued, a lot of new equipment has been purchased for the main stadium and is being rented to Delhi 2010.
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