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Shooting in the dark

delhi Updated: Sep 17, 2009 01:25 IST
Sahil Sharma
Sahil Sharma
Hindustan Times
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When Sports Minister Dr MS Gill visited the site of what will be the new Karni Singh Shooting Ranges three weeks ago, he castigated officials present for inordinate delays.

Work on the ranges should have been completed by August 31, 2009. But with the current status of the range making even the December 31 deadline seem like a distant dream, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) officials are getting increasingly nervous.

“The delay is a matter of great worry for us. We need the venue by December so that we get sufficient time before the Commonwealth Shooting Championship which will begin in February 2010,” Digvijay Singh, president NRAI, told HT.
The ranges are scheduled to host the Commonwealth Shooting Championship and the World Shooting Championship in February-March next year.

The work on the range only began last July. So far, only a little over half (55 per cent) the work is complete. And it’s difficult to figure out how the remaining 45 per cent of construction, plus the placing and testing of equipment, can be completed in just three months.

Work on the outer structure of the 10 and the 25 metres ranges is yet to begin.

The 50 metre and the final range have the outer structure in place but the work inside is yet to start. The shogun range too is nothing more than a dug up field.

The sports minister, last month, refused to give a deadline for completion. If it’s motivation the range needs right now, it can find plenty in Thyagaraj Indoor stadium.

The small stadium, which could well be held as the Games’ showcase stadium, will unfortunately host just netball.

“We were asked to complete it by October, in time for the Commonwealth Games Federation meeting. But we didn't want to show an incomplete stadium and will finish work by December," the project manager, Anil K. Pandit, said. “Eighty per cent work is complete. We are winding up now."

Another stadium that looks on track is the RK Khanna Tennis complex. The outer structure of the courts is complete, the new building is done and there is only some internal renovation going on.

"The work is well on track. The centre court is almost ready and the outer courts will be completed by December," said an on-site engineer who did not want to be named.