India launches probe into Delhi Games corruption

India launches probe into Delhi Games corruption

India has launched a high-level investigation into allegations of corruption and mismanagement that marred the run- up to the Delhi Commonwealth Games, news reports said Saturday, DPA reported.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ordered the national watchdog,the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to probe the irregularities, a day after the games closed on Thursday, the NDTV network reported.

VK Shunglu, a former auditor-general, will head the probe assisted by the country's premier Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as well as other agencies to submit its findings within three months.

The panel will look into the "organization and conduct of the games, fix responsibility for the alleged irregularities and also prepare a dossier on the lessons learnt for future events," the Indian Express daily reported.

The investigators had drawn up a list of more than 20 officials - including the organizing committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi - whose role will be probed for financial bungling and administrative lapses.

While the CAG will look into the financial misappropriation, the Enforcement Directorate will probe the routing of funds.

The CBI and Central Vigilance Commission will examine tenders and bidding documents for various games-related infrastructure projects, the NDTV reported.

The October 3-14 event which involved 71 countries was not only the biggest but also the most expensive edition of the Commonwealth Games, estimated to cost between seven to 10 billion dollars.

Delays in construction of games venues, use of substandard materials, dubious contracts and filthy conditions at the athletes' village were heavily criticised ahead of the games.

The allegations triggered a debate in the country's parliament after which Prime Minister Singh had assured a comprehensive probe.

But after the troubled start, the games were hailed as a success at their close by competing nations and the Commonwealth games president Michael Fennell.

A poll in the Times of India daily showed that 85 per cent of respondents considered the games to be a success and had enhanced India's image.

Many analysts however feel that the initial criticism and controversies had stymied India's effort to showcase itself as an emerging global power.

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