1. Home
  2. Sports
  3. Other
  4. CWG Scam: Kalmadi's Associates 'Bagged' Travel

CWG Scam: Kalmadi's Associates 'Bagged' Travel Contract

NEW DELHI: With barely a week left for the Commonwealth Games, the Organising Committee (OC) is beset with more evidence of nepotism, says a Times of India report. Two close associates of OC chairman Suresh
PTI September 26, 2010 13:56 IST
PTI
NEW DELHI: With barely a week left for the Commonwealth Games, the Organising Committee (OC) is beset with more evidence of nepotism, says a Times of India report.

Two close associates of OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi have been found to be owners of a travel agency that bagged contracts worth lakhs  of rupees for the Games.

Documents reveal that Alisha Travels, which had done business with the OC in the past, is largely owned by Ashok Sahota, his wife and the wife of Ramesh Nambiar. Both Sahota and Nambiar have been close associates of Kalmadi.

Nambiar used to be on the personal staff of Kalmadi when he was the railway minister during the Narasimha Rao regime. He was recently named as an accused in an arms deal case that involved former Ordnance Factory Board chairman Sudipto Ghosh.

The CBI has accused Nambiar and several others of trying to manipulate arms deals to favour foreign defence firms. Until the CBI nabbed him last year, Nambiar was also the transport in-charge for the Games.

Sahota is an associate joint secretary of the Indian Olympic Association, of which Kalmadi is the president.

The 7,829 shares of Alisha Travels are owned by five individuals -- Rekha Nambiar, Ashok Sahota and his wife Seema, Virender Agarwal and Anju Bandulla. Ashok Sahota and his wife own 4,829 shares, while Rekha Nambiar wife has 1,000 shares.

Ever since joining Kalmadi's personal staff in the mid-90s, Nambiar has had a meteoric career graph and even became an additional general manager of Air India.

He was an office-bearer of the Hockey India and also the chairman of the tourism and travel committee of the Games until the law caught up with him.

"Our official travel agency is Balmer and Lawrie Tours and Ashoka Travels. We may have bought tickets from outside if both of them have denied it. But that would be very rare," OC general secretary Lalit Bhanot told TOI when asked about the involvement of Alisha Travels with the OC.

However, sources said the OC has paid several lakhs to Alisha Travels for tickets and other services, especially during the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune in 2008.