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Despite challenges India'll deliver: Kalmadi

Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi conceded that there are many challenges in hosting the 2010 Games but assured the CGF General Assembly delegates that India would overcome them to deliver a memorably well-organised event.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2009 19:13 IST

Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Monday conceded that there are many challenges in hosting the 2010 Games but assured the CGF General Assembly delegates that India would overcome them to deliver a memorably well-organised event.

"There are many challenges but I can assure you that we will live up to them," Kalmadi said, addressing the delegates of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly.

"We have the full support of the Government of India, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh taking personal interest and with Sports Minister M S Gill coordinating the efforts to ensure that the Games are successful. We also have Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit ensuring that Delhi will put its best foot forward to host the games," he added.

Kalmadi said the organising committee will live up to the CGF's expectations.

"You have seen the venues and village and the Organising Committee headquarters which is the operation centre for the Games. I would like to thank the CGAs for giving us support and guidance. The next Co-ordination Commission visit is due in December and we will work to live up to the expectations of the CGF," he said.

Sports Minister M S Gill said it was unfair to compare Delhi with previous host cities like Melbourne.

"This is not Melbourne, this is not Glasgow. Delhi is a city of 15 million people, one of the greatest cities of India. It has all the problems that great cities have - from Tokyo to Lagos to Delhi," Gill said.

"And that is a continuing phenomenon but within that we have to make arrangements that are acceptable and seen as good. While you may like the progress you have seen over the past few months, we can see that there is plenty to be done. For a good Indian wedding, there is work
till the last minute. We are confident that we will do a good job," he quipped.

Gill said the Indian government was giving all necessary support to the organising committee.

"I will reiterate what Kalmadi said - and, frankly, it does not need saying - we are Team India and the Government of India has offered total support without any hesitation. We are in a single line of linkages and all together into this.

The prime minister takes meetings regularly and has given the Group of Ministers under Mr S
Jaipal Reddy the mandate to ensure that we are ready and complete for the Games," he said.

"In order to expand the budget of the Organising Committee as is necessary according to financial examination of proposals made, we are about to go to Cabinet and get the sanction.

"The prime minister is clear that whatever needs to be spent for a successful conduct of the Games to your satisfaction will be done," Gill added.

Earlier, CGF President Mike Fennell said many of the reports on Delhi's tardy preparations for the Games are "not quite accurate" and the government of India is paying full attention to hosting the event successfully.

"We are coming here in the midst of many adverse reports about Delhi, reports that are not quite accurate," Fennell, who has been quite critical in his assessment of Delhi's preparedness in the past, said while inaugurating the General Assembly here.

"But one conflicting fact is that attention is being paid by the government of India through (Sports) Minister M S Gill, who has given unqualified assurance that all the resources that are necessary to ensure the successful celebration of the Games in 2010 will be provided by the government," he added.

Fennell, who has inspected various venues including the Games village in the past couple of days, had shot a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month expressing concerns about the preparations.