Suresh Kalmadi and the CWG BOO!

Boo means “to show contempt or disapproval”. Boo in Hindi means “an obnoxious smell”. The “English Boo” has some “temporariness”, that is, you boo and go away. But once you have the “Hindi Boo” around you, it will provoke investigation. But, there is always a possibility that people get used to the “Boo”. After all, Halitosis is not hell to someone who has it. 

I have a fear. With all this brouhaha, the actual culprits might slip away. I wonder what is wrong? Why the media and the people are not asking the right questions? Every news item appears as diversionary tactics with more smoke then substance.

The real issues which initially raised eyebrows where – missed deadlines on incomplete infra-structures like stadia’s and roads. These doubts were raised by the OC (Organizing Committee) itself when Mike Hooper went public the first time in 2009. Like anyone found around the scene of crime become suspects, the same has happened with this OC. They are blamed for things for which they are not directly responsible.

Did anyone notice one pattern? When worried Fanel arrived in India and wanted to meet the PM and raise the issue that some of the structures will miss deadlines, the very same moment the whole of our media took a flight to London and started discussing Queens Baton Relay Scam and Toilet Papers. Wasn’t this amazing? Though the mismanagement in QBR (Queens Baton Relay) and Toilet papers are no ordinary scam but it can’t be held against unfinished structures, missed deadlines and worse, falling foot over-bridge.

But to show left-overs piling all around, link it with mis-management and then focus it on one Organization and worst, one Man, is gross injustice. Not that I want Kalmadi to be spared of his own and committee’s misdeeds. Accusations should be on right stuffs done wrong. But the media and us has chosen to digress.

Why the Delhiites were booing Kalmadi? Was it because he goofed up in Queens Baton Relay or bought toilet paper worth millions. Surely, that would be the least of their concerns. Wasn’t it those mess created in Delhi. Those last minute mad rush to complete work. Those traffic jams due to dug up roads. The citizens were stuck in traffic and the establishment made them believe it’s because of someone else? That’s smart.

Two stadia’s, Shivaji Stadium and Central Vista had to be scrapped from the itinerary. They are both built by NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Commission). Now, who is responsible for NDMC? The games village was constructed by DDA (Delhi Development Authority). DDA comes under Union Development Ministry. Then who becomes responsible? As far as sports is concerned, Shiela Dixit has done nothing. CWG 2010 utilized the same structure made for the Asian Games 1982.

Let’s take the Games village. DDA did an auction and the bid was won by Emaar MGF, a Dubai-India private joint venture. However, there were issues between DDA and MGF on missed payments. Cash-less MGF did not pay the workers who in turn went on strike or walked out. The Village which should have been completed by March 2010 lay unfinished till inauguration. Now, who should be asked these questions? Where should the accountability lie? Or Just Lie!

Where does Kalmadi figure in anywhere here? It’s a DDA and MGF battle. Who should have resolved it? Mrs. Kalmadi! OK, after the completion of those flats, the DDA was supposed to hand in the venue to ITDC (India Tourism Development Corporation) for furnishing it. Then ITDC will hand it over to OC. Here the OC comes last. Its a Rule of Thumb. If no one has completed their obligations, it’s safe to pin the blame on the powerless last?

The OC is concerned with Overlays-meaning “decorations” to conduct the Games. Venues are not handed over to them on time but the blame is on schedule. In fact Kalmadi should be facilitated.  At the eleventh hour he was able to put things in place to pull off the games. But my lone voice do not a majority make!

My earlier article – “Kalmadi-fix-it for Dixit“, was an attempt to say that if we want (if) to pin the blame, we should aim for the one who should be most accountable. But all our emotions were hijacked. We are fixated. We felt the need to fix someone to fix something. The wrong doers should be erased to end all the wrong doings. And in this case, it’s Kalmadi. We all ended up booing someone who can’t even moo. In a superb masterstroke, someone else carried away the acclaim.

But, blame game has never worked. If one group carries shit, the other group equips themselves with fans. Politics is infested with profligates. Arguments are their armaments. Their excuses appear like “flags of principal” and do the march past. When animals are threatened, they show teeth or fangs. When common people are threatened, they lie or tell the truth. When politicians are threatened, they expose. There is an un-written “honour-of-the-loop”.

But if we choose to focus on structure than personalities, we will unearth a lot. And the PM has taken the right step. CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) has started with CPWD (Central Public Works Department). The attempt should be more on the corrective then punitive. Because, I believe, the CWG mess was more a process failure. At hindsight, we now know, the failures were starkly significant in some areas.

What was the structure? What could be its weakest links? When those linkages are breached, what were its safeguards? Did the process have any alerting systems? – Out of many questions, I would be interested to know these. Some indicators are solutions themselves.

For the layman who wants to analyse, there is no shortages of data. The CWG’s own official website itself has repository. GOTO (http://www.cwgdelhi2010.org/) and then scroll to the bottom. If interested, you can find lots of tender information and other data for analysis.

The one which interests me most is this: – About Us>Key Stakeholders (http://www.cwgdelhi2010.org/key_stakeholders). Just by looking at the hierarchy, one can deduce the bottom heaviness. It lists its delivery partners as CGF-IOA-OC-GNCTD-GOI. A person of projects or administration will immediately catch the lacuna. The right question to ask here is-Do the top three have any control over the bottom two? If yes, then in what way?

The OC, at best, can be the co-ordinators. They can very well do the corruptions at their levels which can be limited to batons and stationeries. Check out Tenders (http://www.cwgdelhi2010.org/tenders#). But on a larger scale, where millions got lost, the ghost will come back to haunt the Government. And, of course, Shiela Dixit! The Sports are over, Let the Games Begin.