Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Media & Broadcast Centre with the Capacity of 2000 Journalists open

Dismissing travel advisories issued by Commonwealth countries, Organizing Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Monday said no country had expressed concern or threatened to pull out of the Commonwealth Games after the Jama Masjid shooting incident.

He said all steps had been taken to ensure safety of athletes and delegates were satisfied with the arrangements made by India. ‘‘We are monitoring the situation on a day to day basis,’’ said Kalmadi while inaugurating the main press centre of the Games at Pragati Maidan. He was accompanied by I&B minister Ambika Soni.

Spread over 6,700sqm, the media centre will cater to about 2,000 journalists including 800 from overseas. It is expected to function 24 hours from October 1-15. There will be free internet access and wi-fi.

The International Broadcast Centre also situated at Pragati Maidan has begun operations with broadcasters setting up operations there. IBC is equipped with technical resources, including broadcast information offices, satellite dish farm and telecommunication operations.

Uncompressed audio and video feed from 38 cameras produced by the host broadcaster from all venues through optical fibre connection will be customised by rights holding broadcasters and transmitted through satellite uplinking service and international fiber service.

‘‘I have not got a single call from any Commonwealth country expressing apprehensions about security (of the athletes after Sunday’s firing). This (firing) was not a Games-related incident. It happened in Jama Masjid and the police are looking into it. It’s not a major incident. As of today, all 71 Commonwealth countries are coming for the Games,’’ he added.

Asked about terror advisories issued by various countries, Kalmadi said their respective Commonwealth Games associations have committed to participating in the multi-sport event. ‘‘Many countries have issued travel advisories earlier also. Australia had earlier issued an advisory but its Commonwealth Games chief Perry Crosswhite said its athletes are coming. So what is important is that the Commonwealth Games bodies of the respective countries have committed to participation in the Games,’’ the OC chief added.