THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An open criticism by none other than the Chief Secretary himself on the organising of the National Games and the extravagant manner in which inaugural ceremony was held, has virtually put the government in the dock.
The fact that senior officials too have voiced criticisms about the Rs 15 crore inaugural ceremony has made things worse. Games CEO Jacob Punnose stated that it was the government which took the final decision on the money spent for the inauguration.
“The amount of Rs 15 crore for the inaugural function was not fixed by the National Games Organising Committee. It was the government which finally took the decision,” he told reporters. A day after Jiji Thomson assumed office as Chief Secretary, he had mentioned his displeasure at the manner in which the event was organised. Speaking at a meeting of government secretaries, he mentioned about issues related to the inaugural function. “The issue of shortage of passes for the inaugural function was shared by many officials. Many senior officials were fully ignored. There was no rehearsal for the inauguration and the duration of the event was too much. There was complete disarray in organising the inaugural function which was obviously criticised,” said a top official.
With the Chief Secretary airing criticism and demanding action for those behind the lapses, the government has initiated steps to audit the entire event.
Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said that the reasonability for booking ‘Lalisom’ lies with the ceremony committee, who did it out of positive intentions. By evening, the Chief Secretary further clarified his stand stating that he was only pointing out certain errors in organising the event. The Chief Secretary said that care would be taken to ensure that the valedictory function is held with minimum expenditure.