New Delhi: Delhi government on Tuesday admitted diverting Rs 744 crore from funds meant for Dalits to the Commonwealth games.
BSP leader SC Mishra claimed in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that during the last four years Delhi government diverted money meant for development of Scheduled Castes and Tribes for the sports extravaganza. The Delhi government also admitted to the diversion of funds in an RTI filed by Housing and Land Rights Network.
"It means outright embezzlement of funds and outright corruption. So we have a situation where there is total impunity with which the Delhi government continues to operate year after year. Planning Commission has been aware of the diversion of funds and yet they have not taken any steps," said RTI activist Miloon Kothari.
In 2007-08 the Sports and Youth Department showed expenditure of Rs 9.7 crore "to develop infrastructure at Chhatrasal and Tyagraj Stadiums". But the RTI revealed that the money was not spent.
In 2008-09 the Transport Department showed expenditure of Rs 160 crore through PWD without any specified target or achievement. In the same year the Sports Department showed expenditure of Rs 25 crore again without any target.
Now the Sheila Dikshit government is on the backfoot.
"We may have made a mistake. These days there are so many queries on Commonwealth Games," said Delhi PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan.
Planning commission guidelines don't allow diversion of Dalit funds. But in the obsession with the Games, Sheila government seems to believe that the Games should go on.
(With inputs from Divya Iyer, Juhi Chaudhary and Bahar Dutt)