Suresh Kalmadi, the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) chairman and Indian Olympic Association president, chose the second Annual General Body meeting of the 2010 Games to reiterate that the event belonged to the IOA and its organisational control was well and truly in its hands.
Kalmadi chose to drive home two points - that the role of the Sports Ministry is to support the event and the CGOC would be in a position to raise the money for the conduct of the game on its own.
“The Commonwealth Games belong to the IOA and the organising committee. The role of government is to support the Games for its successful conduct.
“We are thankful to various stakeholders, Delhi Government the tourism ministry and others for their help,” Kalmadi said in the meeting attended by Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Civil Aviation Minister Prafull Patel among others.
Kalmadi said the CGOC would be left with surplus money after the Games and it would be in a position to pay back whatever money it took from the government. “There will not be any shortage of funds for organising the Games, putting up the infrastructure etc.
We have a budget of around Rs 1,000 crore. The government is giving us around Rs 770 crore with provision for a 15 per cent escalation. The expenditure will be over 900 crore. We are looking to raise 1,200 crore so there will be a surplus of money.”
Meanwhile, Sports Minister Aiyar said the WADA-accredited lab was his top priority and it would be set up at the earliest to check doping. “We will have the WADA accredited lab in a short time. I have been told that some equipment has come and the rest would reach soon.”
When asked whether the preparations for the Games were on schedule, he said, “The practical work will start on the ground from next year... the planning work is going on right now.”
Aiyar, however, regretted that out of some 77 million teenagers and youngsters in the country, 72 million did not have access to sports facilities. “They (youth) do not have any access to these games,” Aiyar said and added that for the Games to be success “we’ll have to reach out to the youth.”