Even an expenditure of Rs 60-crore has failed to ensure a flawless shotgun facility at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges in Tughlakabad. In fact, some of the defects are so glaring that it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the organisers receive complaints from the international marksmen gathered here for the Commonwealth Championships, which was officially inaugurated on Thursday.
Graeme Hudson, the Commonwealth Shooting Federation chief, who will certify the ranges, conceded there were problems and that only a “conditional certification” had been given to the shotgun facility for the Commonwealth Championships. “There has to be a rectification before the Commonwealth Games. A conditional certification has been given for now,” said Hudson.
“There is a problem with the ‘Low Houses’ in skeet,” the Kiwi added. A senior Indian shooter said that during the technical committee meeting on Thursday morning, the delegates were made aware of the flaw. “Stations 1, 8 and 7 in a skeet range should be in a straight line, which is not the case now. We have carried out some corrections for the Commonwealth Championships but they do not conform to International Shooting Sport Federation rules. The ‘Low Houses’ will have to be brought forward by 30cm to rectify the flaw,” he said.
“And that would mean breaking the rooms of all the six ‘Low Houses’ in the six combined ranges,” he said. “Otherwise, the shooters will suffer grievous injuries from the clay pigeons flying out of the ‘Low House’.”
Pointing out a much more serious flaw, he said the last “combined range” (No. 6) was so far behind the other five ranges that in the event of a skeet competition on No. 6, Range 4 and 5 — which are to the left of Range 6 — will have to be shut as a precautionary measure.
Pellets from the 12 bore cartridge can seriously injure someone in Range 4 and 5,” he said. Hudson agreed to the shooter’s theory.
“But that’s ok as there won’t be many shooters in the Commonwealth Championships.”
The old shotgun ranges also boasted of rest rooms with proper facilities, but the new ones have done away with them, forcing the shooters to brave the elements. So much for new design concepts!