Wednesday, March 25, 2009

CWG Special Task Force: Govt reviews plan

CWG Special Task Force: Govt reviews planAfter IPL Row And Criticism, MHA Holds Meeting To Take Stock Of Situation

A day after apprehensions were raised in certain quarters over the security of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the wake of the IPL controversy, the home ministry on Tuesday reviewed the security preparedness for the mega event and asked the agencies concerned to strengthen and modernize forces well in advance.

Discussions were also held about the composition of the Special Task Force (STF), which is being set up for the overall security of the Games Village and sports venues.

The meeting, presided over by home secretary Madhukar Gupta, assumed significance in view of the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on March 3. The incident has raised concerns in India as well where a number of states expressed their inability to provide security to IPL matches which were to coincide with general elections in the country.

Though the IPL organizers finally decided to shift the matches outside India, the episode witnessed criticism of the government from certain quarters.

Raising questions over government’s preparedness to provide security to sporting events, BJP leader Arun Jaitley had on Monday raised questions about providing security to the Commonwealth Games if it could not be done for the IPL matches.

Referring to Tuesday’s review meeting, sources in the home ministry said the Delhi Police and CISF which are the main components of the STF along with other agencies that would play a major role in securing the Games Village and sports venues gave their progress report and assured the ministry about finishing their ongoing modernization exercise well in time.

‘‘The meeting also reviewed arrangements at construction sites as part of security vetting of construction plans,’’ said a senior home ministry official.

The ministry had recently issued security guidelines for under-construction sites to all the concerned contractors and landowning agencies for implementation. Accordingly, steps have been taken on police verification of workers, perimeter security and access control. ‘‘The construction plans for all venues including the Commonwealth Games village are being vetted by Delhi Police from the security point of view,’’ the official said.


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