Concerned with the level of preparedness of various Commonwealth Games venues — 34 days before the sporting event — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium on Sunday.
He asked the authorities to "redouble their efforts" to complete the remaining work before October 3, when the games starts. The JLN stadium is the venue of the opening and closing ceremonies and various athletics events.
The PM is said to have told officials involved with games preparations that people are expecting a "spectacular" and "flawless" opening to the Commonwealth Games.
"He took stock of the work done. While he found the sports complex beautiful but at the same time he urged that authorities involved need to redouble their efforts to quickly complete whatever works remained," said a senior a Central Public Works Department (CPWD) official. CPWD is the agency which is renovating the JLN stadium.
The decision to personally visit the stadium comes close on the heels of the PM stepping in and taking charge of games preparations following reports of "slippages" in time schedules and allegations of corruption in various games projects.
Accompanied by sports minister M.S. Gill and Organizing Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, the PM spent 20 minutes inspecting the various facilities inside the stadium. Sources said the PM was shown various facilities including the playing fields, royal box, stands for spectators, security and other arrangements.
On August 14, taking charge of Games preparations after reports of deficiencies in various games projects, the PM had empowered a Group of Minister headed by Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy to take all decisions to ensure Games deadlines are met.
On the PM's directions, a committee of 10 bureaucrats headed by Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar was also formed on August 19 to oversee preparation of major venues.