Sunday, August 1, 2010

We will not Accept Incomplete Stadia: Kalmadi

Commonwealth Games organizing committee chairperson Suresh Kalmadi on Saturday steered clear from taking responsibility for the mess unraveled by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in its findings on infrastructure and construction projects. ‘‘The OC will not take over any stadium on August 1 if it is not complete,’’ he said.

The CVC report has raised a storm by pointing towards financial irregularities, poor quality of work and fake certificates. ‘‘CVC has raised 13 points. OC has nothing to do with them,’’ Kalmadi emphasised, washing his hands off the entire matter.

When asked who was responsible for the mess which the CVC report reveals, Kalmadi replied, ‘‘Venues are the responsibility of the venue owners (government agencies). We have no role in the construction of stadia. The agencies have assured us that they will give us the venues on time.’’

‘‘I reiterate that the infrastructure and construction projects pertain to government agencies and venue owners and it would be unfair to hold OC responsible for either the delays or the discrepancies,’’ he said.

On whether the pace of work at the stadia was worrying him, Kalmadi said the venue owners have assured that all work will be completed in time. But he reluctantly admitted that he was ‘‘concerned as once we take over the venues, it is my responsibility that all is well. I will not take over any venue that is not complete. The takover of venues begins on August 1.’’

On whether OC will have enough time to do the overlays after taking over the venues, Kalmadi said, ‘‘We are aware of the time constraints and hence our overlay team is already out at the venues and at some places work has started.’’ About the poor workmanship that has started to show a grill recently came off at SP Mukherjee Swimming Complex injuring a swimmer Kalmadi said he had checked on the swimmer and that it was just a ‘‘little injury’’.

Kalmadi’s press conference comes a day after CM Sheila Dikshit held a press meet on the CVC findings. The CM, too, had listed out deadlines for completion of work — from removing the rubble to finishing touches. On the CVC report, Dikshit had refused to comment saying she knew nothing of it and that a process had to be followed regarding everything.