The cost of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) will be borne by the poor and the socially underprivileged of the city, it seems.
According to a report released by the NGO, Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) on Thursday, Rs 265 crore from the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (Special Component Plan) for Delhi has been diverted to the CWG fund in the year 2009-10.
“If one looks at the diversion of funds since 2008 the amount is much more, in the range of Rs 550 crore,” said Miloon Kothari, coordinator, HLRN.
The report demanded an independent enquiry into the transfer of funds.
The Delhi Finance Minster, AK Walia, refused to say anything on the issue. “I cannot say anything regarding this at the moment. I will have to check the records before responding,” he said.
The report, called Whose Wealth? Whose Commons?, also condemned the Games for being anti-poor .
“The money that is being used to beautify the city should have been used to provide housing for the poor,” said Kothari.
The report also gives the example of governments of New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago, which did not support the CWG bid of their sports authorities as the Games would prove too costly.
“The benefit of the games will go only to corporates, especially the real estste conglomerates. The poor people will not get anything,” said Dunu Roy, director, Hazards Centre.
India’s bid document for the CWG estimated the cost of hosting the games at Rs 1,899 crore but official estimates have put the cost at Rs 10,000 crore, the report states.
“The streetscaping project in Lodhi Roadcost Rs 18.55 crore, twice the amount had bid for the entire beautification plan. Why?” said Shalini Mishra, co-writer of the report.
The report was released by Justice AP Shah, retired Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. He condemned the government for ignoring the poor of the city.