With one edition of the Commonwealth Games getting over with the overall agreement that this was one of India’s greatest performances at the tourney, it is quite astounding the news that has surfaced regarding another edition of the Games- incidentally, the one held in India 8 years back. Reports have now emerged that a British satellite broadcaster, in a strongly worded letter to the Indian Sports Ministry, has demanded a settlement of bills dating back to 2010.
If one remembers correctly, the Commonwealth Games had been marred in complete controversy under the UPA rule back in India with the emergence of various scams that seemed to be centered around it. From the use of substandard materials used for building the venues to several others, the term “CWG scam” had been quite a trending topic back then.
However, the troubles seem to be far from over as now, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has been forwarded a letter by a British broadcast service company Sports Information Services asking for bills of the tune of Rs 250 crore to be settled. The money is pending for supposed “services provided during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.”
According to a report in The Times of India, the Chief Exceutive of the aforementioned company, Richard Ames, had this to say in the letter. ‘As the CWG (Gold Coast) are once again the centre of attention to the world’s sporting media, could I draw your (read Rathore) attention to the difficult and embarrassing fact that India has not settled its bill for the 2010 CWG in Delhi. Today, our claim (with interest to date) exceeds A?28 million.”
It was also quoted by the same Times of India report that the letter demanding payment had reached the office headquarters of Prasar Bharati and it particularly mentioned that Ames was unhappy with the treatment meted out to his company by the subsequent governments that took over after the games.
‘It’s clearly damaging to India’s standing in the international world of sports and of broadcasting,” he was quoted as conveying in the letter.
Reportedly this blatant lack of cooperation and attempt to get away without dispatching due payment for services had given rise to a formal complaint by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president (Louise Martin).
Back in 2009 when BS Lalli was the CEO of Prasar Bharati, there had emerged CBI reports of alleged criminal activities and embezzlement of funds regarding Lalli and then managing director of Delhi-based Zoom Communications, Vaseem Ahmed Dehlvi- also the director of SIS.
Barely a week before the Commonwealth Games began, there had been reports of a tiff between the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Prasar Bharati which had resulted in the latter backing out of the coverage for the Games in a massive setback. Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati has reportedly refrained from commenting on the issue.
Further developments are awaited.