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Domino effect at stadia

The already delayed work of overlays at the Commonwealth Games venues might be delayed even more. HT reports

delhi Updated: Jul 29, 2010 23:37 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

The already delayed work of overlays at the Commonwealth Games venues might be delayed even more.

International vendors for the job have complained that lack of access, absence of basic facilities and even unfinished work at the stadia are preventing them doing their work.

In reports to the Organizing Committee (OC), the companies have cited several reasons why much of the overlay work at Karni Singh Shooting Range, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, SP Mukherjee Swimming Stadium, Siri Fort Sports Complex require fresh deadlines, sources said.

Overlays comprise furnishing, cabling, power backup, air-conditioning, carpeting, ticket booths, tents, etc, just about everything that makes a venue usable. It’s the biggest task in organising.

Overlays alone has a budget of Rs 687 crore given to the OC by the Sports Ministry as a loan, apart from Rs 1,620 crore of operational cost for the entire Games.

At the JLN stadium, the main venue, the vendors couldn’t access the sites for recce and mapping for days because they did not have Sports Authority of India approved ID cards and the security personnel did not honour the OC accredited IDs.

Now the SAI says it has issued a communication to the venues saying people from with either accreditation from either the OC or the SAI should be allowed, but the works whose revised deadline was July 26, has got delayed indefinitely. Many revised deadlines were early July or late June.

At places like Karni Singh and Siri Fort, debris has taken over the sites, preventing mapping and measurement work, reports have said, adding that open, soggy soil exists at many sites, which were supposed to have been concretized.

The four international vendors, from Switzerland, France, the UK and Hong Kong, are experienced in Olympics, recent FIFA World Cup and previous Commonwealth Games.

Based on their inputs, now the OC has alleged at meetings that venue owners have strayed from original 'venue briefs'.

OC spokesman Lalit Bhanot said they were in touch with relevant authorities to sort all issues related to overlays.

A section of the Sports Ministry, however, called this an “elaborate excuse”.

“People are late on their own but want to shift the blame on others,” said HS Kingra, Special Officer for CW Games at SAI.