The now famous Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi has perfected the art of staying in the news. While we were scared stiff about the quality of the stadia, swimming pools and tracks, Mr Kalmadi has sprung another surprise on us: there’s a shortage of tickets. Last week, this paper found kabadiwallahs walking away with sacks of tickets even of matches that were sure to get a near-full house. Another report talked of tickets being sold at a premium by CWG volunteers. The OC says that it has sold 900,000 tickets. But there are hardly any spectators in the ‘world class’ stadia.
When cornered, Mr Kalmadi’s Man Friday Lalit Bhanot said that the OC printed fewer number of tickets fearing poor attendance because of the bad publicity preceding the Games. However, the ticket sale numbers touted by the committee also don’t match up. While such risk management skills are appreciated, they should have been better used for a smoother run-up to the Games. Instead, when everyone is keen to tango, the OC has decided to stop the music.
Delhi is not a sports-loving city and this was a good chance to get people interested in sports. But now, thanks to the harebrained ideas of an extremely cautious OC, even that chance is being let go of. The funny part is that even the CWG sponsors, the public sector companies, have got a raw deal: there aren’t enough passes for them.
What’s the reason behind such zealous guarding of tickets by Kalmadi and Co.? Why does he want to keep us away from the Games? Call us if you know the answer.