It’s official now. As reported by Hindustan Times in February this year — and with just 458 days left now — work on most of the major Commonwealth Games venues has fallen behind schedule.
Replying to a question in a session in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Pratik Prakashbapu Patil, Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, conceded that work at the Siri Fort and Yamuna Sports Complex, Talkatora indoor stadium and R K Khanna tennis stadium had fallen “marginally” behind schedule.
“But the pace of work has now attained optimum level and shortfall against targeted percentages would be bridged,” the minister said in a written reply.
Patil, as reported by HT in February, also said that work at Dr S P Mukherjee Swimming Complex, cycling velodrome and the wrestling stadium at Indira Gandhi indoor stadium complex had suffered a delayed start due to some design and clearance issues.
The union minister, however, said work at the venues was progressing as per schedule and would be completed in time.
The Games Organising Committee also agreed with the union minister’s assessment and added that the entire infrastructure would be ready well in time.
“All the stadiums, with the exception of the cycling velodrome and the rugby stadium, will be completed and handed over to the games Organising Committee around December 2009,” said CWG Organising Committee secretary-general Lalit Bhanot.
“The delay in the velodrome and rugby stadium has been due to technical differences with the world body, which have now been resolved. The rugby stadium will be complete by January next year, while the velodrome will be complete by March 2010,” he added.
Responding to the minister’s statement, Bhanot said: “Don’t consider it as a delay… there can be some slippage in the schedule, but we have a recovery period to counter such a situation.”
“I firmly believe that the deadline will be met.”