People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 43

October 24, 2010




Protestors Demand Thorough, Time-Bound Probe


ABOUT 700 activists of the CPI(M) held a protest demonstration outside the Delhi secretariat on October 20, demanding a full time-bound probe into the corruption in Commonwealth Games, immediate declaration of free use of all sports facilities for the public, return of funds from the Special Component Plan for SC/ST development diverted illegally by the Delhi government for the CWG, strict action against errant the contractors (86 per cent as per the labour ministry), payment of all outstanding dues to workers, and rehabilitation of all hawkers, street vendors, homeless etc.


Addressing the gathering, CPI(M) state secretary PMS Grewal criticised the limited scope of the V K Sunghloo committee appointed by the prime minister and its narrow interpretation by the Delhi chief minister. He said the additional taxes and VAT, diversion of funds earmarked for social welfare, increase in tariffs of buses, Metro and water etc had been forced on the people of Delhi in order to fund the games. But the people will not tolerate any eyewash investigation that does not bring to task all those involved in corruption and misappropriation of funds, including those in the highest positions.


The gathering was also addressed by CPI(M) state secretariat member Mohan Lal, Anurag Saxena (CITU), Nathu Prasad (convenor, Dalit Adhikar Committee), Albeena Shakil (JMS), Ravinder (DYFI) and Anand (SFI), who spoke about the adversity faced by different sections of the people during the organisation of the Commonwealth Games.


A memorandum enlisting all the demands was submitted to both the prime minister’s office as well as the Delhi chief minister by a delegation comprising of M L Malkotia, Ashalata and Asha Sharma. The Delhi government representative shamelessly denied any role of the Delhi government and was reluctant even to receive the memorandum, echoing the attitude of the Delhi chief minister who wants to evade all enquiries.


The protesters vowed to continue the struggle till all the guilty are brought to book for this massive corruption.



THE memorandum sent to Dr Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of the government of India, sought to draw his attention to the profligate, corrupt and anti-poor aspects of organisation of the Commonwealth Games 2010. The details are as below.


Colossal Expenditure: The 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG) have been marked by profligate expenditure. This is borne out by the following facts that are public knowledge today:


In 2003 at the time of bidding for the CWG the projected expenditure was Rs 1,899 crore.


In April 2007 the union cabinet approved a budget of Rs 3,566 crore for the CWG.


In the July 2009 CAG report the cost of creating venues, city infrastructure and operational expenses of conducting the games was estimated to be Rs 12,888 crore.


The estimated cost rose to Rs 70,000 crore at the time of the start of the games.


The cost of organising the 2006 CWG at Melbourne was just Rs 5,200 crore. Even if we presume a 100 per cent increase in costs due to inflation, the total expenditure on the 2010 games should be one-seventh of what it was reported to be at the start of the 2010 games.


Massive Corruption: The above exponential increase in estimates of expenditure is in itself sufficient grounds to suspect massive corruption.  This is further confirmed by the following:


Whereas it cost Rs 90 crore to build a new cricket stadium at Hyderabad, the cost of renovating the JLN Stadium was Rs 961 crore!


The cost of the foot overbridge outside the JLN Stadium that collapsed was pegged at Rs 10 crore. The Army built it afresh at a cost of just Rs 80 lakh!


There was glaring corruption in hiring utilities for participants as the table below shows:



Purchase cost of Item

Rent (45 days)


Rs 7 lakh (at Harrods, London)

Rs 9,75,000

Refrigerator (big)

Rs 15,000-20,000

Rs 42,202

Computer (top quality)

Rs 60,000

Rs 89,502

Liquid Soap Dispenser

Rs 460

Rs 3,397

Toilet Paper Roll 

Rs 30-40

Rs 4,138 (purchase)



The wilful pandering to the demands of contractors over and above the original amounts at which contracts were given to them also reeks of corruption. For example, the multinational Emaar MGF that was given the contract for the CWG village for Rs 1038 crore was inexplicably handed out a bailout package of Rs 700 crore by the government in May 2009.


Diversion of Social Welfare Funds: The Delhi state government illegally diverted funds meant for the welfare of deprived sections to the CWG. This is borne out by the following:


Rs 678.91 crores was diverted from the Scheduled Castes Special Plan (SCSP) by the Delhi government for the CWG. This was admitted by the union home minister in the Rajya Sabha on  August 27, 2010.


The delivery in Delhi of several social welfare measures like widow or old age pension has been stopped in large measure in the recent months. This gives rise to suspicion about diversion of funds to the CWG from other heads of social spending as well.


This diversion of social welfare funds comes in the background of an increase in the prices of petrol and diesel, rampant inflation in the prices of edibles, enhancement of VAT on several commodities and hike in bus, Metro and water tariffs in Delhi, all of which are adversely impacting especially the poor and deprived sections. In plain words, the central and Delhi governments have willingly facilitated the loot of public money in the name of expenditure necessary for the CWG at the cost of their meagre commitments to social welfare.


Inhuman Treatment of Workers: The workers engaged in building different facilities for the CWG have been subjected to inhuman exploitation by builders and contractors:


They have not been paid statutory minimum wages besides being deprived of benefits like provident fund and ESI in total violation of labour laws.


In 2008-10, the Labour Department officials made 958 inspections of CWG construction sites. Violation of labour laws was found in 827 i.e. over 86 per cent of the cases. This shows the scale of violation of labour laws by construction companies and contractors.


Prescribed safety norms were totally ignored at CWG worksites. As a result, over 100 workers have been killed and hundreds of others have been injured.  


Forcible Displacement of the Poor: This is one of the most shameful aspects of organisation of the CWG motivated by the strong desire to showcase ‘Shining Delhi’ to foreigners sans its squalor and poverty.  What this means can be seen from the following:


Over two lakh families from 44 slum clusters were evicted to make space for CWG related projects. They were promised relocation at outskirts of the city where they would face gruelling commutes to work, lack of civic amenities and disruption of their children’s schooling. How many such families have actually been relocated even in this manner, is not clear.


Thousands of vendors and hawkers were forcibly displaced, depriving them of their means of livelihood. No guarantee for their rehabilitation after the CWG has been given.


A generalised “purdah” through installation of so-called “view-cutters” was thrown over poorer parts of the city to render invisible the areas deemed unsightly for the visitors’ eyes.


Flawed Infrastructural Development: The reality of the much touted benefits of the infrastructural development undertaken for the CWG is laid bare by the following:


Construction of new bridges, flyovers and roads is confined to the venues at which the CWG were held or their approach routes. Colonies, adjacent to CWG venues have not seen any infrastructural development. Thus adjoining colonies of the poor continue to have broken roads, poor sanitation, irregular bus services, absence of parks, patchy street lighting etc.


Urban renewal forms an integral part of the vision of countries and cities organising international sporting events. For example, London’s successful bid to host the next Olympic Games was predicated on its promise to develop run-down inner city areas and clean up and regenerate deprived zones. No such vision informed the organization of the 2010 CWG.


It is claimed that CWG sports facilities will help boost Indian sports. If the existing user charge based model is continued, CWG sports facilities will remain out of reach of most people. The fact that the Government did not use the CWG to develop sporting facilities in different areas, especially those of the poor, underlines the elitist nature of its sports policy.


Accountability: The role of all agencies involved in organising the CWG must be minutely investigated and they must be made accountable for any lapses on their part. However, certain recent developments give an impression contrary to this. These are:


There is no clarity about the terms of reference of the V K Shungloo committee appointed to probe the organisation of the CWG.


The Delhi CM has publicly sought to define the scope of this committee as being one which will only probe corruption in the expenditure by the Organising Committee.

This is an ill-concealed attempt to prevent a scrutiny of the role of the central and Delhi governments, DDA, CPWD, MCD, DMRC etc, the expenditure undertaken by whom is many times more than that undertaken by the Organising Committee.


In the light of the above, the CPI(M) demands:

1) Time bound enquiry into the entire organisation of the 2010 CWG. Detailed and transparent investigation of the role of all agencies involved in holding them. Strict punishment to all those found guilty of corruption or profligacy in any aspect of organisation of the CWG.

2) Immediate allocation to the Delhi state government by the central government of social welfare funds diverted for the CWG.

3) Strict action against all builders and contractors who violated labour laws in constructing the CWG projects. Immediate disbursal of outstanding dues of workers of these projects.

4) Rehabilitation of all vendors and hawkers displaced for the CWG; issuance of tehbazari licenses to them and proper rehabilitation of families evicted to make space for CWG related projects.

5) Ban on user charges for availing sports facilities built for the CWG or those hitherto existing for enabling people to freely access and use these facilities.

6) Development of a minimum of eight sports grounds per Vidhan Sabha constituency in Delhi; development of sports clubs and free sports training for children and youth.


A copy of the memorandum was forwarded to Mrs Sheila Dixit, chief minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.