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Opening, closing shows in peril

delhi Updated: Sep 07, 2010 00:27 IST
Avishek G Dastidar
Avishek G Dastidar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

From grandeur to plausibility — the delay in the preparations for the Commonwealth Games has even put the opening and closing ceremonies in jeopardy.

Coupled with the incessant rainfall, the delay has put a question mark on the quality of the show. It has also left the performers with just a week's time for rehearsals. Originally, they were to get an entire month for practice, show producer Wizcraft told the Group of Ministers overseeing the preparations. The producer said the insistence was no longer on "grandeur" but only on the "feasibility" of the show.

"Even Ramlila gets more rehearsal time than this," a senior official, who was part of the meeting, said on the condition of anonymity.

Thanks to the rains, the track and turf at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium — the venue for the two ceremonies — have sunk unevenly. The Central Public Works Department is in the process of rolling 600 tonnes of sand to reduce the slush.

According to the details of the meeting accessed by HT, Viraf Sarkari, director of Wizcraft, told the GoM that in case of more rain, the sand will sink further and make it impossible to even erect the main stage, which weighs 450 tonnes.

"The GoM told the Organ-ising Committee that if anyone is not delivering in time, they should be replaced immediately," said the source.

But, according to Lalit Bhanot, OC secretary general, everything was in order. "What-ever has been decided earlier… it will be like that only... It's going to be a mega show," he said.

The lack of time has even abridged crucial show content.

Sarkari told the GoM that the crucial Mahatma segment might not happen at all. Even the final music was not in place and key participants were clueless about several important songs to be used.