CWG scam: CAG indicts Delhi health department

first_imgThe Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found irregularities in procurement of medical equipment for the Games.The Commonwealth Games, hosted in the city last year, has come to be associated with a raft of scams. Here’s another.The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found irregularities in procurement of medical equipment for the Games, causing loss of crores of rupees to the government exchequer.A CAG report states that the authorities concerned bought the equipment much above the market rates while beds and equipment at some designated hospitals were supplied only after the event got over.The authorities even issued fake work certificates for procuring items. The state-run GB Pant Hospital was designated for definitive care of accredited personnel along with AIIMS and RML Hospital. At GBP, a turnkey project for establishing an emergency block was approved by the government. The purchase committee approved the bid of M/ s Adison Equipment, which agreed to complete the supply, installation and commissioning of the system by August 20, 2010 at a cost of around Rs 5crore.According to the report, a review of expenditure revealed that a false work certificate was signed by a group of doctors on November 19 showing that the project was completed on September 6.”Installation of the turnkey project was possible in November after one month of the CWG. Whereas, this block was specially meant for the Games and the ground floor of the EDP building was specially modified for this purpose. The expenditure of Rs 5.15 crore thus proved unfruitful,” the report states. The report mentions that the hospital’s medical superintendent denied this and said the project was utilised fully for the CWG. Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta on Tuesday said chief minister Sheila Dikshit was responsible for this scam and should immediately resign.advertisement”There should be a proper investigation and all officials, including the CM, should be booked,” he added.Gupta said the CAG’s findings vindicated earlier claims that there was a huge scam in the whole exercise of improving health facilities ahead of the CWG by the Delhi government.The CAG report says lack of proper planning resulted in non-utilisation of budget.The decision to hold the Games in Delhi was taken in 2003 and the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) was entrusted with the responsibility of providing health services.The budget was allotted from 2006-07 but the final action plan could be finalised only in September 2009. The percentage of utilisation of the allotted budget was 0.1 to 8.5 during 2006-10 and hundred per cent during 2010- 11, the overall utilisation being 33.44 per cent.Delays were a common feature of Games-related projects. Health- related projects were no exception. The report says that although there was enough time to make purchases and call for open tenders, the DHS and hospitals made purchases worth Rs 6.02crore without inviting tenders. In its reply, the DHS attributed this to paucity of time.WHAT THE CAG FOUND – 68 ice- machines for treating sports injuries bought at inflated costs, leading to a Rs 23lakh loss- 11 firms failed to deliver medical equipment worth ` 4lakh- Directorate of Health Services and Lok Nayak Hospital bought equipment worth more than Rs 6crore without inviting open tenders- Director of health services waited till the end so that he could justify purchases without tender- Most equipment came after the Games were over- A Rs 5 crore emergency block for sportspersons at Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital completed a month after Gameslast_img
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India vs Sri Lanka World Cup final: It’s Sachin versus Murali on the D-Day

first_imgThey were the hot favourites and they have made it to the summit – Yes, it’s India vs Sri Lanka World Cup final. And Sachin Tendulkar on his home ground, bidding for a first title in six trips to the World Cup, will take on Muttiah Muralitharan, aiming to win it again in his last game for Sri Lanka. PhotosAnother contest on the cards is Lasith Malinga vs Virender Sehwag. Both are experts in their art. Tendulkar will be under enormous pressure, with India desperate to end a 28-year wait for its second World Cup title and become the first country to win it on home soil. Tendulkar, who will be 38 next month and is showing no signs of being slowed by age, made his first-class debut at Wankhede Stadium – venue for the final – in 1998 and has been in the international arena for two decades.He has scored more runs than any batsman ever – more than 18,000 in ODIs alone – and is one shy of his 100th hundred in international cricket. His nearest rival, recently deposed Australian captain Ricky Ponting, is next on the list with 69.Tendulkar narrowly missed his century of centuries in India’s 29-run semi-final win over archrival Pakistan, but he was dropped four times and had an lbw decision overturned. Such a streaky innings wouldn’t have done the most elegant of batsmen justice.Besides, it adds even more drama to the tournament final in the thriving financial and entertainment hub, home to India’s Bollywood.advertisement”Going back to Mumbai, especially for this event, is a wonderful occasion,” Tendulkar said. “And all I want to say is, we want to be calm, focus on our job and get the job done.”Muralitharan, hobbling and doubtful with a host of nagging injuries, won the World Cup at the age of 23 when Sri Lanka stunned the cricket establishment by winning the premier limited-overs title with a seven-wicket over the Australians at Lahore in 1996.Since then, he has taken more wickets in tests and limited-overs cricket than anyone in history. And he only needs three more to equal Australian pace great Glenn McGrath’s record 71 World Cup wickets.He had his perfect Colombo send off when he took a wicket with his final ball on home soil in Sri Lanka’s semifinal win over New Zealand, when he was hoisted onto his teammates’ shoulders and later did a lap of honor with the national flag.Muralitharan has been through many trials and tribulations, not least when he was no-balled for using what umpires considered an illegal bowling action on his first tour to Australia, so he’s unlikely to let hamstring, groin and side strains stop him rolling in for his last 10 overs of off spin.”Chances are good that Murali will play,” Sri Lanka’s Australian-born coach Trevor Bayliss said Thursday. “He completed 10 overs in the semifinal, and such is the character of the man that he will play even with discomfort.” Sri Lanka’s other injury concern is allrounder Angelo Mathews, who left the field late in the semifinal with a muscle strain.Just in case, though, Sri Lanka is sending veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas and off-spinner Suraj Randiv to Mumbai on standby.The only other concern for Sri Lanka is a lack of time at the crease for its middle order. The Sri Lankans have three of the top five scorers in the tournament, led by opener Tillakaratne Dilshan. Skipper Kumar Sangakkara is also in superb touch at No. 3 and as wicketkeeper.India’s batting is undoubtedly its strength, but the bowling attack did well to defend 260 at Mohali, with all five bowlers taking two wickets apiece.This is the first all-Asian final, and probably the hardest to pick because the combinations match up well.One thing in India’s favor has been its tougher run to the final, following the must-win group match against the West Indies with a big quarterfinal win over three-time defending champion Australia and then ousting Pakistan in a blockbuster semifinal. If India wins on Saturday, it will have beaten every former World Cup champion to capture the title.”It’s important to peak at the right time,” skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said after the victory over Pakistan. “Throughout the tournament we didn’t have any easy games. Every game we had, we had to struggle. All in all, we’re ready for the finals.”In Sri Lanka’s favor is its World Cup record against India, with four wins from their six completed matches.In India, Sri Lanka is two from two, after winning both the group match and the semifinal final here in 1996, the latter finishing in sensational circumstances.advertisementThe Sri Lankans were awarded the match at Calcutta by default after the 100,000 strong crowd rioted when it became obvious that India would struggle to win. Chasing 252, India was 120 for eight in the 35th over when ICC match referee Clive Lloyd took the teams off the field and then decided to abandon the match when there was more crowd trouble.There’s unlikely to be any repeat of that disturbance, with strict security in place and Wankhede reduced to just over 30,000 in a recently completed refurbishment.With AP inputslast_img read more

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Baltimore Leaders Gather at White House to Discuss Social Change

first_imgCharlotte James of Baltimore’s Code in the Schools organization, speaks during a panel at the White House. (Image via YouTube)Some of Baltimore’s top leaders gathered at the White House June 6 for a panel discussion which analyzed social change in the city.Called “The Front Lines of Social Innovation: Models for Change from Baltimore City,” the event was streamed live from the White House and addressed the social plights that Baltimore is facing. Among those in attendance were Democratic mayoral nominee Catherine Pugh, Bishop Eugene Sutton, and Senator Ben Cardin. From its record-high homicide rate to dealing with the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death, there are many aspects of Baltimore in need of social reform.Sarah Hemminger, a neuroscientist and CEO of Thread, a city non-profit which engages underperforming high school students, spoke about her mentoring program and the importance of lifting up Baltimore’s youth.“During times of division and strife in our city, we must rediscover the thing that is most important: one another,” said Hemminger. Thread helps teens in less-than-ideal social situations thrive academically. She mentors low-income and at-risk kids with low GPAs, and helps them to graduate high school and further their education. Her program has a graduation rate of over 90 percent. Through several heart-wrenching anecdotes, Hemminger shared how she not only touched her mentees lives, but how they have helped her to grow as well.The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, stressed the importance of healthcare to create social change. She talked about Vision for Baltimore, which allowed children to receive free eye exams and glasses. She also discussed her national campaign to help those with opioid and drug addiction.“More people die from overdose than die from homicide,” said Wen. “We believed that every resident could save a life.” The city’s health department has provided healthcare training to various members of the community to help with this issue. She also discussed racial disparities in health and how one of her programs that hires recently-released convicts helps with violence prevention.Other topics of discussion included adding coding and computer science to school curriculums, youth outreach, education, and more. After the speeches there was also a panel discussion in which a panel of experts discussed other steps Baltimore needs to make towards reform.“There are deep rooted problems of inequality, poverty and racism, but our residents feel the fierce urgency of now,” said Wen.last_img read more

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