Sunday, March 8, 2009

People’s Role Sought in 2010 Games Warm-up

NEW IGI TERMINALObservers Find Participation By City Community Missing

Creating worldclass infrastructure in the capital before the Commonwealth Games is just half the job done. People involvement in the Games is equally important, something that is not happening in Delhi yet. Representatives from the industry and government stressed on the need for community participation in organizing the Games at a discussion organized by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in the capital on Saturday.

‘‘There is no excitement in Delhiites about the 2010 Commonwealth Games. It is almost like this is being imposed on them. If the private sector gets involved in the planning process and involves the community, people will automatically get excited,’’ said Kulvinder Singh, DCP (Gurgaon), Haryana Police. He added roles of tour guides, medical assistants and language interpreters can be taken on by volunteers.

Drawing a comparison with Beijing, the stakeholders feel that Delhi is much more vibrant as a city and has a more evolved culture and history.‘‘We are ten times more interesting than Beijing. Now the challenge is in how well we can market this and how much color we can add to the city. For this too, the role of the community and their interaction with the Commonwealth Organizing Committee plays an important role,’’ said VK Verma, Director General, Commonwealth Games secretariat, adding that more than 30,000 volunteers will be mobilised for the games.

For India to shake the negative ‘slumdog’ image, it was felt the the involvement of private sector in development is very important. ‘‘We have more than 6,000 RWAs, universities and colleges in NCR. All these can be mobilized during the Games and the volunteers can provide excellent assistance to the government,’’ said Ravi Bhoothalingam, chief executive, Manas Advisory Pvt Ltd, who was also one of the panelists.

The government welcomed the participation of the community and also enlisted all the projects which are being undertaken to prepare Delhi for the games. As for the infrastructure, chief secretary Rakesh Mehta said that most of the projects will be completed by December 2009. ‘‘By April 2009, the under-construction flyover leading to the Airport will be completed. Another 120 infrastructure projects are constantly being monitored by the government to ensure timely completion. An efficiency rate of 15% per month has been maintained for completion of Commonwealth Games related projects,’’ Mehta said.

In the wake of the Lahore and Mumbai attacks, Mehta stressed that the best security arrangements are being made to ensure the safety of the athletes and their families and a comprehensive security plan is being prepared for the Games by a high level committee formed by the LG.