The cycling test event for the Commonwealth Games is three days away. And the organisers plan to put the cyclists through their paces on the rubble-covered lanes of Connaught Place.
Also, the event is yet to get the requisite permissions. Delhi Police haven't given the organisers a no-objection certificate. The New Delhi Municipal Council — whose nod is needed for use of roads in CP — has said it will give the go-ahead only if the traffic police do the same.
According to sources, barricading of the route is yet to be done, so it seems unlikely the event will be held. The organisers also admit some of the track is unfit due to the rain.
But Sport18 — one of the organisers of the event, in collaboration with the Cycling Federation of India — claimed all permissions have been given and the event will take place on August 29.
Dr Akil Khan of IDSports, another organiser, wasn't so optimistic: "No one could have predicted the rain… The NDMC has said they will fix the roads if they get a day. Worst case scenario: we reduce the track, avoiding the unuseable patch."
"We had asked the CPWD (Central Public Works Department) to barricade the route last week…. They are yet to do it. Given the dangers of holding such an event in a crowded area… we can't allow the event if precautions are not taken," said Dharmender Kumar, joint CP (New Delhi range).
Referring to the construction work at Inner and Outer Circles, another senior police officer asked: "How is the event supposed to take place? Where will the cycles tread given the fact the NDMC is yet to repair Inner Circle?"