‘We will return every penny to the government’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘We will return every penny to the government’

HT spoke to Kalmadi on this issue and many more, which will hold centre-stage in the run-up to the event. Excerpts:

india Updated: Feb 21, 2009 23:19 IST
Ajai Masand

There is a feeling that the Games Organising Committee's promise of “returning every penny borrowed” from the government might just fall flat on its face. Escalating costs, a weak global economy and hundreds of millions in loans might just come in the way of chairman Suresh Kalmadi’s promise of paying back the amount. HT spoke to Kalmadi on this issue and many more, which will hold centre-stage in the run-up to the event.

Excerpts:

Is there more to the 'Green Games' than just wearing green T-shirts?

We have hired “Nature First” as consultants. We did a bit of the ‘Green Games’ thing in Pune. All the building material conformed to green standards; we had solar lighting among other things. (Noted diplomat and writer) Shashi Tharoor and Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) are also our consultants in this.

Your promise that you will return every penny taken from the government …is it feasible?

Our budget is revenue neutral. We will return every penny we’ve received from the government, by collecting money through sponsorship, TV rights, merchandising, ticket sale etc. Australia and New Zealand have bought the TV rights for the Games surpassing our expectations. A lot of sponsors want to join the CWG bandwagon.

We will only repay the amount given to the Organising Committee. Why should you count the expenses incurred on infrastructure, airport, flyovers, metro, Games Village, malls etc. This will be a legacy from the Games. All these developments move the city 5-10 years forward.