AT THE receiving end for slow pace of work related to the Commonwealth Games, the Union Cabinet constituted yet another Group of Ministers (GoM) to speed up bureaucratic processes to ensure that infrastructure projects are not delayed. A group, headed by HRD minister Arjun Singh, is already in place for coordinating between various stakeholders in conducting the games.
Government functionaries insisted that this GoM, with Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy, Tourism Minister Ambika Soni, Sports Minister M.S. Gill and Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal as members, would be different. It will deliberate on specific issues on conducting the opening and closing ceremonies of the games, shortage of hotel rooms and delay in certain infrastructure-related projects.
Sibal told reporters after the Cabinet meeting that a detailed discussion was held following Sports minister M.S. Gill’s presentation on issues relating to the games.
“There is an element of urgency and everything must be completed well before time,” Sibal said.
The new GoM will look into all outstanding issues including major shortfall in anticipated hotel accommodation in Delhi for the games. As against the requirement of around 30,000 rooms, the Capital has only about 12,000 hotel rooms and another 5,000 in guesthouses and paying guest accommodation.
Maintaining there was a shortage of accommodation and hotels for the mega event, Sibal said the GoM would also delve into how to meet this shortage. A proposal has been mooted to allow use of residential accommodations to house visitors during the games.
Another issue that will be on the GoM deliberation table would be how to showcase India during the games. “We have to decide how to showcase the country as China did during Olympic Games,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sports Minister Gill also appraised the Cabinet of the Indian team’s preparation for the games.
The Commonwealth Games are scheduled in Delhi in October 2010.