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Clear message from CGF: Venues must be made fit for the purpose

india Updated: Aug 03, 2010 00:32 IST
Indraneel Das

With barely eight weeks to go, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is closely monitoring all developments around Delhi 2010. What has been of concern to the Federation is the short time remaining to fix all the problems that have been reported in the media.

“Since we are just eight weeks away from the Games and six weeks away from when athletes start pouring in, the CGF has recommended to all stakeholders to address shortcomings in the venues and get everything ‘fit for the purpose’,” said Mike Hooper, the Chief Executive Officer of the CGF. “If landscaping is not done, that’s not our concern. What we want is the venues should be ready to host the disciplines they are supposed to host.”

The CGF has also recommended that the OC take charge of the venues only after the government agencies involved take all remedial measures.

As for the delays, Hooper said, the CGF has been telling all those involved with the Games since Day One, things must be taken seriously, and deadlines adhered to. “If they would have stuck to the December deadline, this situation wouldn’t have arisen,” he said.

Though they are not very concerned about the corruption charges flying thick and fast, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report has been worrisome.

“As far as CGF is concerned, the corruption charges and inquiry are internal matters of the Government of India,” said Hooper on Monday. “What has been of concern to us is the report of the CVC that says sub-standard material was used to construct the venues. Which, if legacy is taken into account, is not good. It should not be that after the Games the structure is not usable or should hamper smooth functioning of the Games.”

He also added that this time he felt the OC was not to be blamed, “The venues were built by different agencies and not by the OC. The Committee now should be thinking about operations. All these corruption charges in Queen’s Baton Relay and leakages in the stadia are also distracting them.”

Commonwealth countries have been monitoring India’s preparations closely. Some, like Australia, have concerns as well. Hooper said Australia has been seeking updates about each venue from the point of view of safety of their athletes. “They are a little worried to hear things from the media. But I tell them now that the Games have to happen, we have only 61 days, all concerned agencies will come together and work hand-in-hand to get things fit for the purpose,” he said.

The CGF boss also believes it’s not the time to panic, but to act. “All agencies must collectively react and rectify all shortcomings,” he said.