Monday, July 6, 2009

Delhi Gearing Up For the Games – Additional Rs. 7359 Allocated

There is a Rs 600cr increase in allocation for Commonwealth Games 2010 which will help speed up work.

Keeping in the view of 2010 commonwealth games Delhi gets Rs 7,359cr but officials they need more to complete the projects in time, looking for Additional Rs 2000Cr

Though chief minister Sheila Dikshit called it a ‘‘commitment implementation’’ budget, the Union Budget for 2009-2010 has proved to be a windfall for Delhi with manifold increase in the allocations for the city, obviously with an eye on Commonwealth Games.

At Rs 7359.38 crore, the total allocation for Commonwealth Games, JNNURM, central plan assistance, Delhi Police, DMRC and the NCR development board has almost doubled from last year’s Rs 3919.46 crore.

Delhi Police got the highest allocation of Rs 3041 crore though officials say much of it would go towards paying salary arrears under the Sixth Pay Commission. Delhi finance minister A K Walia, however, is already talking of asking for more money under the Games head.

The total allocation under the central plan assistance went up by 197% to Rs 2,495.68 crore. There is a Rs 600-crore increase in the allocation for the Games, up from Rs 400 crore last year but for the state that’s already grappling with falling revenue collections because of the recession, that sum is hardly enough.

‘‘We will go to the Planning Commission and ask for another Rs 2,000 crore to meet the Commonwealth Games expenditure. Half of that we will need during the current financial year, and the rest may be given next year,’’ said Delhi finance minister A K Walia.

The Central Government in 2007-08 and 2008-09 had given Rs 750 crore to the city government for Commonwealth Games.

Delhi had earlier asked the government for an extra allocation of Rs 5,000 crore for the Games. If Delhi is disappointed, nobody in the government is showing it. An upbeat chief minister Sheila Dikshit said: ‘‘The Budget has reiterated our commitment to the common man and to inclusive growth...I am certain that if we need more money for Commonwealth Games, the central government will oblige. Our focus now should be on spending the money we have received well and on ensuring that people derive maximum benefit from it.’’

There is a feeling among a section of officials that had the Games projects not dragged on for so long and weren’t dogged by delays, for reasons ranging from a less than compliant DUAC to missing contractors, the city government may not have been so completely ‘‘at the mercy of contractors’’, thereby keeping a rein on the costs of projects.

Some of the projects are still in a fledgling state with only 10% work done on the Salimgarh Fort Velodrome Road, Chhatrasal Stadium and Rao Tula Ram Marg flyover.

A senior official involved with the Games projects though refuted this. ‘‘Cement was so expensive that many times contractors had come to us asking for a rate revision. It is much lower now. So the time has got nothing to do with our need for more money,’’ the official said.

We have got a lot of money in this Budget and I am sure so far as the Commonwealth Games are concerned, the Centre will give us more money as and when the need arises Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister, Delhi