Commonwealth Games overshadows Chaturvedi

Vol 14, PW 22 (05 May 11) People & Policy
     

Girish Chaturvedi might have a hard time living down his association with the unmitigated disaster that was the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last October.

His job then was as additional director general (finance and accounts) on the Commonwealth Games organising committee. A source tells us Chaturvedi was appointed to the organising committee in May 2010 specifically to control its now disgraced chairman Suresh Kalmadi, who is today under arrest on corruption charges.

A damning 105-page report submitted to the government on March 28, 2011 by a committee appointed to investigate the “organisation and conduct” of the 2010 games accuses Chaturvedi of not doing more to stop Kalmadi. This ‘High Level Committee for Commonwealth Games, 2010’ was constituted on October 25, 2010 by the PMO with a view to derive “lessons for the future.

” It is also informally known as the ‘Shunglu Committee’ because it was chaired by India’s former Comptroller and Auditor General, VK Shunglu, while its sole ‘member’ was Shantanu Consul, former secretary in the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT). “Chaturvedi joined the (Commonwealth Games) organising committee in May 2010 as additional director general with the function of finance,” reads the Shunglu report.

“Whatever the power and functions assigned to him (Chaturvedi) and howsoever diligently he may have applied himself, the fact remains that between May 2010 and till Kalmadi left, he (Kalmadi) exercised complete power over the finances. In other words, Chaturvedi was unable to rein in Kalmadi.

His functions were more to do with accounting than finance!” Yet others describe Shunglu’s assessment of Chaturvedi as unfair. “I have met Chaturvedi two or three times,” says a former colleague on the Commonwealth Games organising committee.

“He comes across as a very humble and down to earth man, always greeting people with a smile. He's very honest.