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Cycling on sand, rubble

delhi Updated: Jul 29, 2010 00:17 IST
Neelam Pandey

Half dug roads, mounds of rubble, iron rods jutting out, naked cables wires. The 120 odd cyclists, including international participants, who will come to attend the cycling test event on August 29 may have to wade through all this if the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is not able to clean up Connaught Place in time.

Experts said smooth roads without any kind of obstacle is the basic requirement for holding a cycling event.

But NDMC said it can’t clean up the roads before August 31.

“Even that deadline may overshoot by a few days,” said a senior NDMC official. However, the Organizing Committee (OC) of the Commonwealth Games, which has finalised the route for the cycling test event, has gone ahead and included the dug up Outer Circle of the Connaught Place, Minto Bridge, Janpath and Sansad Marg in the route for the test event.

“August 28 deadline is way too ambitious. I don't think with the current pace of work, they will be able to finish before September,” said New Delhi Traders' Association president Atul Bhargava.

The OC, however, seemed confident. “We will make sure all construction work is complete before the test event. The NDMC has assured us that everything will be done before August 28,” said OC spokesman Lalit Bhanot.

But cyclists have a different take on it. “We haven't seen the site because we are currently training in Patiala. But two days or three days before the event, we will inspect the roads. If they are not worthy, we will just cancel the event,” said Amandeep, coach of Indian women's cycling team.

The lack of co ordination between the agencies can be gauged by the fact that the traffic police are still maintaining that the event is on August 22.

“The cycling event is on August 22. However, the organisers have not even applied for a No Objection Certificate as of now. It is a Sunday so there will not be any problem,” Satyendra Garg, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic).