Sunday, August 1, 2010

No Comments: Says CM on CVC report

‘‘Do you want me to go to jail?’’ This was how an agitated chief minister Sheila Dikshit responded on Friday when she was repeatedly asked to comment on CVC report on corruption in Delhi government projects for the Commonwealth Games.

A day after the news of CVC probe broke and Dikshit issued gag orders on all her ministers, the CM refused to make any comments on it. Though she briefed the media about deadlines for removal of ‘‘large malba’’ and again claimed debris lying around the Games sites would be removed by August 10.

She was accompanied by four ministers and several senior officials including the chief secretary and the advisor of Commonwealth Games. PWD minister Rajkumar Chauhan whose department is handling most of the major projects where corruption has been cited was a notable exception.

The chief minister said her government had yet to receive a copy of the CVC report and hence she would not comment on it. ‘‘When the report comes, action will be taken but all this work has to be finished first,’’ she said. However on being asked where the buck stops given the serious nature of allegations and chair she holds, her irritated response was: ‘‘Do you want me to go to jail? Till now it is only something you have heard about so I will not comment on it. In government, everything has a process and if the findings are correct, we will look into the matter once the Games are over.’’

Her irritation lingered on when she was asked about finance minister A K Walia’s visit to the Yamuna Sports Complex on Wednesday after which the minister had issued a statement saying the complex which incidentally is a DDA project may not meet the deadline. ‘‘Did you hear or not the deadlines that I read out just now,’’ asked Dikshit. ‘‘We will meet them.’’

She refused to comment on media reports about how many of the equipment the health department is procuring for the Commonwealth Games are being bought at several times the market price. ‘‘I will not comment about any of this,’’ she said.

The statement that she issued talked about how the city was undergoing massive transformation when so many ‘‘mega projects’’ are being carried out simultaneously and ‘‘it is quite natural that during the execution the city has an unkempt look’’.

‘‘All agencies, especially Delhi government, is steadfast in its resolve to meet the deadline of August 31,’’ the statement read. The statement also went on to talk about how many projects like Barapullah Nullah Road and UP Link Road started late because of myriad reasons and how PWD is confident of finishing all of them ‘‘well before time in order to have sufficient time for tests and trials.’’