Saturday, May 8, 2010

Games Village flats: DDA gets rap for bailout

Did Delhi Development Authority (DDA) pay a higher price to the developers of the Commonwealth Games Village, Emaar MGF, for the 333 flats that were bought? The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has severely indicted the DDA for its 'bailout package' of Rs 766.89 crore to the company and said it was
too lenient, resulting in excess payment to the tune of Rs 89.24 crore.

That's not all. The CAG report has also hauled up the land agency for not recovering Rs 65.23 crore from the developer for building beyond the allowed floor area ratio (FAR). The report in fact, is scathing about DDA's role in granting a bailout package that not only ignored the recommendations of the Evaluation Committee that had been set up but acceded to the demands of the developer on the grounds of national prestige.

According to the CAG report, the land agency not only ignored the advise of the Evaluation Committee to give a loan rather than buy the flats — the CAG report says the recommendations were not made part of the note sent to the DDA VC or the LG — but also gave in to Emaar MGF's demand for a higher price per sq foot for the flats.

While the Evaluation Committee had talked about a price between Rs 7,425 and Rs 9,735 (based on the calculations of the two consultants), with the Committee finally recommending Rs 9,720 per sq ft for the flats that included the developers margin, overheads and project management costs, DDA ultimately went with Rs 11,000 per sq ft, citing the need to factor in the contractor's margin as demanded by the developer.

"Instead of analyzing and providing the justification for increase in rate which was at variance with the rates suggested by the Evaluation Committee, DDA arrived at the rate of Rs 11,000 acceptable to the developer. This resulted in avoidable expenditure of Rs 89.24 crore," says the report.

More interestingly, the report says that DDA is yet to penalize Emaar MGF for building on FAR beyond that allowed in the agreement with DDA, in excess of over 4 lakh sq ft. The amount that DDA would recover from this is Rs 65.23 crore, says the report. Also, DDA is yet to get Rs 20.31 crore from the developer for installation of the grid sub-station as well as labour cess of Rs 4.12 crore. DDA officials meanwhile refused to comment on the CAG report. Officials claimed that they hadn't yet received an official copy of the report, and would comment only after they did so.

MCD seeks joint steps to check diseases during Games

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Saturday said coordination of various civic agencies was needed to keep the Commonwealth Games free from spread of vector and water-borne diseases.

Municipal Commissioner K.S. Mehra said there was a potential for spread of diseases such as dengue, malaria, chikungunya, cholera and typhoid due to large scale construction activities and presence of migrant labour in the city. ‘We have to be extra alert,’ he said.

Mosquitoes mostly breed in post-monsoon phase.

Municipal health officer N.K. Yadav said that in view of the Games scheduled between October 3 and 14, civic agencies should nominate a nodal officer to coordinate with the MCD to prevent such diseases.

Mehra said attention should also be paid on unauthorised colonies where the maximum number of cases are reported. He asked the irrigation and flood control department and Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation to ensure free flow of water in these colonies.

He also said the civic agencies should take anti-larval measures along the bank of Yamuna river, which is a breeding ground of mosquitoes.

There is a need to keep an eye on migrant labour and their health-related activities, the municipal commissioner said, adding Delhi Jal Board should ensure increase in frequency of water supply by tankers in unauthorised areas and proper chlorination of drinking water.

‘These small measures will go a long way in preventing water borne diseases.’

MCD’s director of primary education Prem Lata Kataria said: ‘Over 1,000 nodal teachers have been designated in the civic body’s schools to coordinate efforts for prevention and control of vector and water-borne diseases’.

Around 1,000 people are infected with dengue and malaria every year, on an average basis.

Delhi MC's health alert to civic bodies on CWG

In view of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, Delhi Municipal Commissioner K S Mehra today alerted all civic agencies as well as different departments of MCD to eliminate mosquito-genic conditions to control and prevent vector and water-borne diseases, particularly along the banks of Yamuna River and in unauthorised colonies.

Addressing the Intersectoral Coordination Meeting of MCD, Delhi Government, Delhi Police, Delhi Jal Board, DDA, DMRC, Northern Railway, DTC, Flood and Irrigation Department and DSIIDC here which was preponed due to the Commonwealth Games, Mr Mehra said, ''The next few months are all the more important because they involve the prestige of the country before international community. There is potential of the spread of such diseases in view of the large-scale construction activities and presence of migrant labour. We have to be extra alert.'' He asked the Flood and Irrigation Department, Delhi Jal Board, Sanitation Department of MCD, DDA, DMRC and Northern Railway to provide support to MCDs Health Department by taking anti-larval measures along the bank of Yamuna River. He stressed the need for keeping Yamuna free of water hyacinth which becomes primary breeding ground of mosquitoes. Mr Mehra stressed the need to focus attention on unauthorised colonies from where maximum number of cases were reported. He asked Irrigation and Flood Control Department and DSIIDC to ensure free flow of water in these colonies.

''It is important that the drains are kept clean and there is regular desilting of drains.'' The Municipal Commissioner stressed that Delhi Jal Board should ensure increase in frequency of water supply by tankers in unauthorised areas and proper chlorination of drinking water as these small measures would go a long way in preventing water-borne diseases. He also directed the Deputy Commissioners of MCD to ensure that kabariwalas were not allowed to accumulate material in open.

''There is need to keep on eye on migrant labour and their health-related activities.'' Municipal Health Officer N K Yadav said lot of construction activities were going around Delhi for the Commonwealth Games and there was need to be alert well in time to prevent diseases like dengue, malaria, chikengunia, gastroenteritis, cholera, jaundice and typhoid. He urged all the civic agencies to nominate a nodal officer from their organisation to coordinate with the MCD.

Delhi to host three-day wrestling championship next week

New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Sports Complex will play host to senior Asian freestyle, Greco Roman style and the female wrestling championships from May 12 to 16.

The event is being seen as a test case for the wrestling competition of the October 2010 Commonwealth Games.

It is one of the major tournaments of FILA in which top wrestlers from 21 countries will compete for top honors with each other.

“This is a major tournament of FILA; it is also opted as a test event for the Commonwealth Games 2010. As you are aware, Asia is a very strong continent in wrestling. In fact, 90 percent of medals in Olympics in wrestling come from Europe and Asia. We have excellent participants from 21 countries,” said G.S Mander, the president of the Wrestling Federation of India.

The 21 countries include all major wrestling nations like Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Korea, China and Mongolia.

Several of the participants are medal winners of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and 2009 Senior World Wrestling Championship held in Denmark.

The competition will be held daily in the afternoon with preliminary rounds from 2:00 to 5:00 PM and medal rounds to decide Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medal winners from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.

Freestyle wrestling competitions will be held on May 12 and 13, while the female wrestling competition will take place on May 14. The Greco-Roman style competition will be held on May 15 and 16.

Children paint to spread awareness about Commonwealth Games in Delhi

Children took part in a painting competition here on Saturday with a focus on spreading awareness about the October 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The competition was organized by the Bungalow Road Jawahar Nagar Travellers’ Association in the capital’s Kamla Nagar area.

Most of the paintings depicted sporting events of the Commonwealth Games.

“I am feeling very happy that Commonwealth Games are being held in Delhi this year. I feel that by participating in this painting competition, I would contribute in spreading Delhi’s and India’s name all over the world,” said Varun Sachdeva, a youth who participated in the event.”

“Basically, the idea is to spread awareness about the Commonwealth Games amongst the local people as this time, our government is organizing the Commonwealth Games,” said Surinder Sonic, the Chairman of the Association.

The mascot of the Commonwealth Games, Shera, was also present at the event. The 19th Commonwealth Games will be held in New Delhi in October this year.

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