Friday, February 20, 2009

Amidst Chaos Commonwealth Games on time

Amidst Chaos Commonwealth Games on timeBrushing aside doubts, the Chairman of the 2010 Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee, Suresh Kalmadi, asserted on Tuesday that the construction of the stadia would be completed by March next year and the mega-event would be held on time.

“Let there be no doubt, the Commonwealth Games is happening on time. We will provide World-class infrastructure. Most of it will be ready by the end of this year and some might take time till March next year,” Kalmadi said during the launch of the Business Club of India (BCI)’s website for the Commonwealth Games.

The Union Sports Minister, M.S. Gill, also expressed confidence that the behind-the-schedule construction work would not pose any hindrance in conducting the Games.

“Construction of some stadia started late. Cycling is one of them and shooting is also held up, but we are monitoring the progress every month at the Coordination Committee meeting. Every effort is being made so that these will be completed in time,” Gill said.

“It’s like organizing an Indian marriage. This is India and we do it like this,” he added in a lighter vein.

Government’s support

The Minister assured Government’s support even though the cost is going up every day. “The Government is clear. Money is being given to fulfill the responsibility,” Gill said.

A presentation was made about the Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) for the Games. The baton journey will commence from the Buckingham Palace in London on November 8 this year and it will reach India on June 25 next year.

“Of the 336 days of relay, 236 will be international days,” Jason Dwyer, Director, QBR, said.

The function attended by a few Union ministers, top functionaries of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), present and former diplomats from India and abroad and some elite officers of the Central and Delhi Governments appeared more of a show of strength by the

Games Organizing Committee though it was stressed that the new portal,, would facilitate global trade in India during the 2010 extravaganza.

“BCI will undertake promotion of the Commonwealth Games. The portal launch should be seen as a much-needed step,” Kalmadi said.

Road shows

Before the Commonwealth Games, the BCI will host 11 road shows across eight countries.

Union Ministers of State for External Affairs, Anand Sharma, and E. Ahmed, President, CII, K.V. Kamath, former Ambassador to the USA and ex-High Commissioner to the UK, Lalit Mansingh were some of the dignitaries present on the occasion.