There are some strange things happening in the build-up to the Commonwealth Games.
This time it is the handing over of the stadiums by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to the Commonwealth Games
Venues handed over
Other stadiums handed over by the Sports Authority of India on Friday
Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium
Still to be handed over
The SP Mukherjee Swimming Complex
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
Yamuna Sports Complex will be handed over on August 9.
Weird as it may sound, the official handing over charge of a stadium and the one taking over is the same.
At the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Ranges in Tughlakhabad, which is one of the venues for the CWG, Manmeet Singh Goindi is the SAI administrator as well as the OC-appointed venue commander.
The awkwardness of this all has not gone down well with former Olympian and pistol shooter, Mohinder Lal, whose name was earlier proposed for the job by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).
Some two months ago, my name was proposed by the NRAI for the post of venue commander, but for reasons best known to the OC, I was sidelined and others chosen," Lal told HT.
Lal added he had the credentials to serve at the position. I'm not disappointed but do feel I have the credentials to give back to the sport which has given me so much."
Lal is a former world record holder in pistol shooting and also an Arjuna Awardee.
The former Olympian, who retired as DIG, BSF, is also a qualified International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) judge, while Goindi is a deputy director in SAI and does not have any such credentials in the field of shooting.
When HT reached Goindi for his comments, he said, I cannot do anything if I am the person representing both the organisations. Fortunately or unfortunately, I am the man chosen for both the jobs."
Another thing that has come to light is that none of the stadiums under SAI, which were handed over to the OC, including the Karni Singh Range, on Friday have clearance from the fire department.
Chief Fire Officer, Delhi Fire Service, RC Sharma, confirmed that none of the stadiums handed over by SAI on Friday had been issued fire-safety certificate. Barring the Thyagaraj and Chhatrasal stadiums (training venue), we have not given clearance to any of the venues as some work still needs to be completed," said Sharma.
A few days back, the competition manager for the Karni Singh Ranges, Avtar Singh Sethi, had told the Hindustan Times that here were 42 technical issues that still needed to be sorted out before NRAI could give its seal of approval to the Ranges. However, on Friday, Goindi said the Ranges were ready.