Many would have thought that hosting the Commonwealth Games in India would bring the country on the radar of the world. It sure has brought India on the radar – but for all the wrong reasons!!
Following an expose on widespread corruption in the Organizing Committee (OC) by news channels, it seems a can of worms has been opened for the organizers of this event as well as for the Government. Several dubious deals, phantom contracts and issues of mismanagement have been unearthed and several are still inside the cupboard waiting to see the light of the day! Even after such expose, the question that remains is –Would the common man learn about the entire truth as most of it still remains a mystery?
Also, one needs to ask is- Did it require a TV expose for the Government to wake up to all this mismanagement? The answer sadly is a YES! Despite an Organizing Committee (OC) in place, the rot had set deep within it for it to function without bias and corruption. Apart from this, lack of checks, a body to oversee the OC on the management, allocation, and flow of funds. The dubious nature pertaining to the awarding of contracts too contributed to this rot. The highhandedness of the organizing committee was such that companies with vague and ambiguous credentials such as office addresses pitched in for contracts and tenders. Leave aside pitching, some of them won the contracts too involving huge sums. Nobody checked the credentials of these ambiguous companies and they made merry!
What could have encouraged for such widespread mismanagement to occur was the offenders having a sound understanding of the system and the way it works in India. The laxity on the part of law to round up and reprimand the guilty with severe punishment along with unending legal procedures too could have aided the intentions of the guilty. All said and done, the entire ruckus could not have been orchestrated with just one individual but appears to involve a bevy of individuals!
Absence of KRA for the OC with stringent penalties for non-achievement of the fixed deliverables could have lent some seriousness to the efforts which now looks like an apparition. Absence of accountability both at the financial and infrastructure level has been one the primary reasons for this debacle which has seen the conscience of officials nose dive to new nadirs!
With less than a month to go for the games to begin, it is indeed sorry state of affairs as far as organizing the games is concerned. Construction is still on in many stadiums, infrastructure is struggling to keep pace with the schedule and to top it over there are officials whose dubious deals are baffling the State and Central Government. Flooding in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, leaking roofs in wrestling arena are just a few examples of what stands today in the in the half completed stadiums. The gravity of the situation is such that the Prime Minister has had to intervene and impart integrity to the sorry state of affairs of the infrastructure.
The entire world recently witnessed a sporting gala event in the Football World Cup hosted and organized excellently by South Africa. This was an event which was much larger in magnitude compared to the Commonwealth Games but still it was organized in a praiseworthy manner. The event also ended up earning the goodwill of millions of tourists who would visit the nation following the commendable hospitality and treatment they received from the various quarters.
As against this event, would be the Commonwealth 2010 fiasco (which is already mired in controversies) comes across as a stark contrast. It would take a colossal effort for the OC and Government to complete the work and make it world class.
Well, the damage has been done and the best that could be done now is damage control. But just think-as citizens who pay taxes, don’t you think the guilty need to be punished for the mess and spending the common man’s earnest earnings for his profits
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