The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC), for the second consecutive day on Monday, took the media to visit the venues. This time around it was the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and the lawn bowls greens.
Though it kept raining all evening, things still looked under control at the JLN Stadium, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies and the main athletic events.
“It has been raining continuously since evening but we have covered the field areas and there is no damage to the infrastructure here. This proves that we are absolutely ready for the games,” said Lalit Bhanot, the OC secretary-general.
The talking point in the stadium was the aerostat balloon, which has reportedly been bought from a UK company for Rs 40 crore. The balloon, to be positioned at a height of 30 metres, will have light reflectors to give special effects during the opening and closing ceremonies.
The officials, however, believe it is not the cost of the balloon but the image of the country that matters. “To organise an event of this stature, there will be expenses incurred, but we should understand that the Delhi Games will be watched by over three million people all over the world and India’s image is at stake,” added Bhanot.
The stadium, which has a seating capacity of 60,000, has a 10-lane synthetic athletic track, a hold-up area and two warm-up areas to hold up to 1,000 athletes. “So far, we have received 970 entries in athletics and I hope the number goes up,” said CK Walson, the competition manager.
Despite the rains, the lawns bowls stadium too looked competition ready with some finishing touches being given to the spectators’ gallery. The venue has three competition greens and a practice surface.
The surface of the greens is such that despite the incessant rains, it is capable of absorbing the extra water. “The make of the surface is such that it soaks water quickly and the competition can be conducted without any glitches, “ said the Lawn Bowls Federation president, Sunaina Kumari.