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Countdown 2010: game unfinished

delhi Updated: May 12, 2009 00:07 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee
Anuradha Mukherjee
Hindustan Times
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The deadline for the 2010 Commonwealth Games may be drawing close but the city government hopes to complete only about 40 per cent of the works by August 2009.

The Delhi government, for which Games-related work is a major prestige issue and even a poll plank, however, defended its record by stating that the Commonwealth Co-ordination Committee, a five-member body from the United Kingdom was “very satisfied” with its work.

It should be noted that Delhi, after Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1998, is only the second Asian city to host the Games. Although the government says its projects will be done by December 31—which means 60% of work in the next seven and a half months—the picture on the ground seems fuzzy.

Government officials said it was the centre-appointed Organising committee which was lagging behind on projects.

“The Coordination Com mittee have asked us to take over the transport arrangements,” said Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta.

The Organising Committee was originally responsible for fixing transport for the Games, which now the Delhi Transport Corporation is largely set to handle.

The corporation plans to deploy 534 of its red air-conditioned buses on routes connecting venues across the city.

The projects under Delhi government include upgradation of venues like Chattarsal Stadium, Tyagaraja Stadium and Ludlow Castle no 2, and roads and flyover projects.

An official said most construction was almost through and it was the Organising Committee responsible for deciding the outlays (temporary facilities like seats for spectators) that was lagging.

“Tyagaraja Stadium...is almost through. Chattarsal Stadium is a bit delayed as we got the clearances a bit late. Athletics is expected to be the most popular event. But we are yet to decide on where to procure the synthetic tracks from as we are waiting for specifications from the Central government,” said an official.