The Commonwealth Youth Games in October this year were touted to be a curtain raiser to the big event — the 2010 Commonwealth Games. But the shoddy work done on the shooting range for the finals at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex in Pune — and the fact that the same people are expected to design the range for the 2010 Games — has many people in the know worried.
Nowhere in the world is a transparent roof constructed for the 10m event, but Pune had one. Bullet-catchers, which can be fabricated for a few thousands, reportedly cost about Rs 7.5 lakh. In this age of electronic target machines and TV monitors, some 100-odd telescopes, each costing around Rs 8,000/-, were reportedly imported.
And all this under the expert guidance of National Rifle Association of India's (NRAI) expert D.K Shukla and Maharashtra government officials. "Shukla is the best we have…there is no other option," said NRAI secretary-general Baljeet Singh Sethi.
Sethi also told HT that Shukla's name was being recommended as the technical official for the Commonwealth Games.
Asked why he was given the job, Sethi said: "We wanted to save expenditure incurred on hiring experts from outside."