Are we serious about doing well in the 2010 Commonwealth Games? Are our athletes being provided with the best possible infrastructure to prepare for the Games? Sadly, no.
It’s been 18 months since the project of laying a new synthetic athletics track at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala — where our athletes will be doing most of their preparation for the Games — was started by the CPWD, and yet, inexplicably, it is yet to be finished.
Compare that with the seven months taken by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to complete a similar eight-lane track in Panchkula, and the apathetic approach of the government and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) is all too evident.
HUDA had given the 3.7 crore contract to Hong Kong based firm C&A International Suppliers Limited in May last year and were handed a ready-to-use track in December.
“The delay in the track, which will be used by the elite athletes of the country for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, shows the casual approach towards the Games,” said an athletics coach.
“We need the track to be ready as soon as possible. It’s really tough to accommodate everyone in the single track,” the coach added.
When asked about the delay in the athletics track, a senior SAI official said: “We are not handling the project. We have given the project to CPWD.” “We have even paid the full amount to the CPWD, I don’t know why the project is being delayed.”
With the SAI washing their hands off the entire issue, it is the CPWD who might have to own up to this gross inefficiency.
The Sports Ministry would do well to hand contracts over to private players.