Saturday, May 15, 2010

Games costs up 1575% since bid: NGO audit

While hosting a mega sports event, some escalation in costs is understandable as new projects get added and the scale of the show is expanded. However, in the case of Delhi’s Commonwealth Games, official cost estimates have gone up by a whopping 525% since the city won the bid in 2003? Unofficial assessments put the escalation at 1575% more than 15 times the original estimate according to an independent report released on Thursday, which predicts the Games will leave a “severe financial legacy”.

India’s bid document for the Commonwealth Games in 2003 estimated the cost of hosting the event at Rs 1,899 crore. After several revisions the estimates now range from an official figure of Rs 10,000 crore to an astounding assessment of Rs 30,000 crore by independent experts.

These figures were put together in a ‘white paper’ on the financial and social cost of the event titled, ‘The 2010 Commonwealth Games: Whose Wealth? Whose Commons?’ released by former Delhi High Court chief justice A P Shah.