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Commonwealth Games venues way behind schedule

The government painted a stark picture on Thursday of construction delays for the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games, saying more than half the work needed to be completed in 12 of the 17 projects.

delhi Updated: Jul 02, 2009 21:54 IST

The government painted a stark picture on Thursday of construction delays for the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games, saying more than half the work needed to be completed in 12 of the 17 projects.

A statement in parliament by the Minister of State for sports reflected a race against time for the October 3-14 games next year, which has faced delays from the planning stage and then cost increases due to the rise in prices of steel, cement and labour.

Listing the percentage of work completed at each venue until last Thursday, the minister Pratik Prakashbapu Patil however expressed confidence the venues would be ready before the games.

The athletics venue in the main Jawaharlal Nehru stadium complex and the games village are only half completed while a meagre seven percent work was finished in the archery arena.

Union sports minister Manohar Singh Gill raised concerns last month over the tardy progress of work. The organisers also plan security on a par with last year's Beijing Olympics.

Organisers said last month that higher construction costs would force the games to go 6-8 percent over the planned $1.6 billion budget.

The Delhi government allotted an extra 9 billion rupees ($187.5 million) in its annual budget on June 22. Construction delays forced the Aug. 10 to 16 world badminton championships to be moved to Hyderabad.