Security agencies could not ensure a complete lockdown of all Commonwealth Games venues, including Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, at midnight last night as authorities failed to finish work at some of the facilities.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had on September 23 issued a stern warning to organisers to complete the work at stadiums by Friday night and hand them over to Delhi Police, the nodal security agency for the Games, for lockdown at midnight.
Sources said a complete security lockdown of some of the venues, including the main Games venue of Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, could not be put in place last night as finishing works were not complete there.
"The work is on at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and some other venues. In many venues, we have imposed the lockdown. We expect to take over the remaining venues by evening," a senior official said.
Sources said the security personnel are facing difficulties while guarding the Commonwealth Games village and other venues due to frequent movement of labourers who were engaged for different unfinished tasks.
Ideally, they said, a complete security lockdown should be put in place a month before the event is to commence.
However, they said, security was in full force and there was no need to worry. The initial plan was to have a lockdown from September 15 but it was extended to September 22 midnight which also could not be met.
The Games Village has become operational without a complete lockdown as athletes have started arriving, the official said, adding they have, however, sanitised the area before the delegates came.
A large number of armed policemen, including paramilitary personnel, have been deployed across the stadia and village. Sophisticated gadgets have also been installed at the stadia.
The security has been stepped up across the city after Sunday's firing incident at Jama Masjid that injured two Taiwanese nationals.
Delhi Police have conducted various drills, including anti-sabotage checks once they take over possession of the venues, the official said.
Concerns were earlier raised about the delay in handing over venues to security agencies as some quarters felt that it would hamper the security preparations.
Delhi Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal, however, had downplayed the delay and said the force was prepared to handle the security issues related to the sporting extravaganza.
"We know the stadia and surrounding areas. We know the city very well. So securing them or other areas will not be a problem," Dadwal had said when asked whether the delay in completion of Games projects was compromising security preparedness.