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Nervous OC puts its best foot forward

The visiting Coordination Commission (COCOM) of the Commonwealth Games Federation has assured its full support to the Organising Committee (OC) of the 2010 Games.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2009 22:31 IST
HT Correspondent

The visiting Coordination Commission (COCOM) of the Commonwealth Games Federation has assured its full support to the Organising Committee (OC) of the 2010 Games.

During the opening session of the three-day meet on Monday, COCOM chairman, Austin Sealy, said, “We are all working towards the same goal — that of producing a successful Games next year.”

OC chairman, Suresh Kalmadi, also assured the COCOM that it would find considerable progress in all areas since its last visit in May. He explained how the OC had ramped up its workforce, recruiting only people with relevant industry experience.

“We have total clarity in the management structure, with each Functional Area having separate heads,” he said. The workforce has risen from 228 in May to 680 at present.

“As many as 200 others have been selected to join in the next month. We will go up to 1,600 during Games time.”

Kalmadi said finances were under control and revenue from the sale of TV rights had already exceeded expectations.

“Against projected revenues of $30 million (around Rs 140 crore), we have already secured deals worth $42 million (around Rs 196 crore),” he said. “Major sponsorship deals have been signed with Air India, NTPC and Hero Honda and many more offers are being finalised in banking, logistics, food and beverage, technology, transport and overlays provider, etc.”

In the presentation, director-general, V.K. Verma, briefed members on how the OC had addressed every concern raised by the COCOM initially, giving an update on the 36 Functional Areas. Chief executive officer Jarnail Singh was also present.

The meetings will be held through Wednesday evening after which the COCOM will present its report to CGF president Michael Fennell.

OC secretary-general, Lalit Bhanot, however, sounded a note of caution.

“It will be difficult to say anything before these three days are up. Things are going well for now,” he said.