Sunday, August 15, 2010

PM concludes CWG meet; Gill likely to head oversight panel 

NDTV Correspondent

 New Delhi:  Amid questions over preparedness for the Commonwealth Games and controversies surrounding it, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday held a meeting with ministers concerned and other stake-holders to take stock of the preparations for the mega event to be held in October.

Sources have told NDTV that there is likely to be an oversight panel headed by Sports Minister MS Gill, and the Organising Committee of the CWG will report to this panel.

The meeting, which began at 4.30 pm at the Prime Minister's residence, was attended by Minister of Urban Development S Jaipal Reddy, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports MS Gill, Lt. Governor of Delhi Tejendra Khanna,, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Mr TKA Nair, Cabinet Secretary Mr KM Chandrasekhar, Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi, and other senior officials.
This is a follow up of the earlier meeting to ensure that CWG goes smoothly.
In the meeting, the Prime Minister observed that there had been slippages in the time schedules of some of the construction works and deficiencies had also been observed in some of the works. He said that, in the run up to the Games, it was important to gain public confidence by instilling order and carrying out effective supervision of the preparation works.
The Cabinet Secretary was directed to liaise closely with the Group of Ministers (GoM) on CWG to ensure effective coordination among all the concerned authorities.
"The Cabinet Secretary will have jurisdiction over matters relating to Commonwealth Games Organising Committee and and a Secretary level officer will liase with the GoM on a daily basis," Dr Singh said.
The Prime Minister directed the ministries concerned, the Government of the National Capital Region (NCR) and the Organising Committee to complete all pending works expeditiously through time-bound action plans and carry out a quality audit of the completed facilities.
He also directed the GoM - headed by Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy - to meet immediately and frequently. The group was empowered to take all decisions necessary for the smooth conduct of the Games. The GoM will refer any matter that may require further consideration to the Finance Minister for a final decision, it was decided.
Dr Singh also decided to visit select Games venues later this month.
The Prime Minister further directed the concerned ministries to conduct thorough investigations into all the complaints that have been received of procedural and other irregularities. He said that those found guilty should face severe and exemplary punishment.
The Prime Minister's action came a day after the Congress top brass, including party chief Sonia Gandhi and him, deliberated on the matter at the meeting of the party's core group.
Meanwhile, there are reports that Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit met Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss CWG issues.
On Friday the Core Committee of the Congress met to discuss the many scandals which have hit the Games and the Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi.
NDTV had reported yesterday that the Congress core group may have decided to continue with Suresh Kalmadi as the chief of Organising Committee for now.

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