How the Indian Commonwealth Games scam unfolded 12 years ago
12 years ago, India hosted the Commonwealth Games which promised to be a spectacle but turned out to be a series of lies and cover-ups.
In 2010, India celebrated their best-ever performance in any Commonwealth Games but it was overshadowed by one of the biggest scams in Indian history. The visual of the foot-over bridge collapsing near the main venue just 12 days prior to the event saw India's international credibility going for a toss.
For a country which had one of the largest populations of people ridden by poverty, India spending crores and crores of money never made much sense. Here's a look at the unfolding of the great Indian Commonwealth Scam of 2010.
The Commonwealth Games in 2010 in New Delhi were hampered by fraud and poor management, which damaged India's image as a country plagued by widespread fraud and abuse. One of the largest frauds in Indian history involved the rounding off of Rs. 70,000 crores.
It was projected that only half of the budget would go to Indian athletes. The athletes allegedly had to relocate from the official housing units assigned to them to shabby and shady flats.
A budget of Rs. 1620 crores was anticipated, however, it finally went over budget by Rs. 11500 crores. And the estimated price is a staggering Rs. 70,000 crores.
The amount spent on other facilities and the scam report both included the following information:
Bus Services: While the Delhi government spent 60 lakhs to purchase a bus, the original cost of the service was only 40 lakhs.
Metro Services: During the Olympic Games, the Delhi Government spent a significant sum to extend the Delhi Metro Line.
Ballon Cose and Service: During the CWG opening ceremony, there was a unique attraction available to all visitors. The true cost of this aerostat, which is costed roughly 70 crores, was actually at 40 crores.
The Commonwealth Games would go down in history for all the wrong reasons. The scandal cost the government an incredible 70,000 crores. The Games unearthed a maze of dishonest business dealings, the majority of which included inflated contracts.
Companies that over-quoted have been hired rather than those that offered the greatest rates, facilities, and equipment. Companies that provided superior deals were frequently excluded for strange reasons.
It was described by the Committee of Inquiries as a "badmaash enterprise." Eventually, all of this zeroed down the literal showrunner of the CWG scam, Suresh Kalmadi who was earlier trusted with the responsibility of smooth execution of the games.
Aftermath of CWG Scam
The accusation was made against Kalmadi for giving Swiss Timing contracts for Rs. 141 crore and other inflated Games contracts. The contract was inflated by Rs. 95 crores. Lalit Bhanot and V K Verma, as well as other Kalmadi coworkers, were also detained.
Then-Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit refuted claims of government corruption by stating, "All things were done with the national interest and repute in mind."
Following his ten-month incarceration, the courts ordered Suresh Kalmadi to pay a $500,000 security deposit in 2019. For ten months, Suresh Kalmadi was incarcerated. A Delhi court authorised Kalmadi to go to London to take part in the 2012 Olympics on July 13, 2012.
He was, however, disallowed from taking part in the London Olympics opening ceremony on July 25, 2012, by the Delhi High Court on the grounds that his attendance may "embarrass" the country.
He appeared to have dementia when being questioned in Tihar jail. Medical research hasn't conclusively supported his claim.
Apart from the financial scams, CWG 2010 was marred with humanitarian controversies, a negative socio-political impact with celebrities and experts calling it a show-off, and participating nations threatening to boycott based on the loose and inept preparations.
12 years down the line, CWG 2010 is still remembered more for the above-mentioned factors rather than the -birth of champions and the display of sporting merit by India.