Thursday, October 8, 2009
Games preparations: Delegates expected more
Will Delhi pass the Games test this time? That's what many are asking as delegates from 71 member countries of the Commonwealth are inspecting the 2010 Games venues in Delhi on Thursday.But the delegates don't seem to be impressed with the preparations. "We expected India to do a lot more," says one delegate.Concerned about the preparations, Mike Fennell, President of the Commonwealth Federation, is due to meet the Prime Minister on Thursday. He met Sports Minister MS Gill on Wednesday.Fennell, who has managed stay unnoticed in New Delhi for the past two days, is also a part of the delegation. The delegates are going to different venues, including Thyagraja Stadium, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, National Stadium, SPM Stadium, and a couple of others. They have already finished inspecting the Games village. The media is only being allowed to visit two of the venues - Thyagraja Stadium and the Games Village. It's just a year to go for the Games and there has been considerable concern over the construction of the games venues lagging behind. NDTV had reported recently on how even the Comptroller and auditor general had expressed concerns over some of the venues not being completed in time. The organising committee of the Delhi Games says the work will be completed in time but the Commonwealth Games Federation is worried. As of September 30, only 64 per cent of the work is complete.Fennell had written a letter to the organising committee warning that India's preparations for the games were behind schedule and had in fact asked the Prime Minister to intervene. And while delegates inspect different venues, it is a harrowing day for most Delhi commuters as the traffic police have advised motorists to avoid routes near the Games venues from 8am to 7pm because of traffic diversions. The roads to avoid are Prithviraj Road, Raisina Road, Ashoka road, Lala Lajpat Rai Marg, among others.