Tuesday, June 9, 2009

2010 CWG Exceeding its Expected Budget

Higher construction costs will force the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games to go six to eight % over the planned $1.6 billion budget and there will be some delays completing the facilities, an organizing committee director said on Wednesday.

Two of the Games venues will miss the December 2009 deadline, the organizing committee joint director general, Tribhuvan Shawkar Darbari, said at a UK India Business Council Conference.

The cycling metrodome will not be ready until March 2010, while the swimming pool complex should be completed sometime between Jan. 31 and Feb 15 2010.

Increases in construction costs such as steel, cement and labour have led to the increase in costs, Darbari said.

"Deadlines have to be maintained so the revalidation of the budget, the re-appropriation and so on, as a strategy, has been worked out," he said.

"I think if you take it on an aggregate value it should be around about 6-8 percent more." He added: "There is an inflation factor. It's an overall increase in costs."

Government figures in December estimated expenditure at around 79 billion rupees ($1.6 billion). Darbari said the 6-8 percent increase was on this figure.

He also said measures had been taken to contain the costs and ensure completion of venues in times for the Games, which are scheduled from Oct. 3-14, 2010.

These include government guarantees for construction materials in short supply and a focused group of ministers which will cut through bureaucracy and provide fast-track clearances for anything linked to the Games.

The Commonwealth Games Federation raised concerns over the slow pace of work last year, which forced the 2009 world badminton championships to be shifted to Hyderabad.