Monday, July 19, 2010

Cash Strapped OC Sought Sponsorship from NHAI

Facing cash crunch, Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee (OC) has now sought financial assistance in the form of sponsorship from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Listing how NHAI can benefit from sponsoring the Games, the OC has proposed packages costing Rs 10 to Rs 100 crore that the road agency can ‘‘buy’’.

However, the proposals have not found any takers. ‘‘OC has come out with several options including a proposal which will help us in branding the organization. Though it was originally sent to the road transport and highways ministry (MoRTH), it was passed on to NHAI. We don’t find any reason to pay money for any sponsorship package,’’ said a senior official in NHAI.

He added that even though they were being pursued to accommodate the proposal, NHAI would oppose any such move. ‘‘We get money from Centre to build roads and not to spend it on publicity. We don’t want to sponsor any Games event. We are also opposed to the idea of installing publicity hoarding in the city since it has been banned by the Supreme Court,’’ added the official.

Finding it tough to meet its expenditure, the OC is reportedly approaching different government agencies and public sector undertakings to generate some funds.

Meanwhile, another senior NHAI official said the authority has started work on revamping highways in Delhi. Recently, the road transport and highways minister Kamal Nath held a meeting with chief minister Sheila Dikshit. In the meeting he told Dikshit that facelift work on NH-1, NH-2 and NH-8 would be completed by August. The two will meet again in the last week of this month and would visit the sites.

‘‘Even this facelift work requires money. When we are struggling to raise fund for highways, how can we pitch in with assistance for OC,’’ said the official.