Late rains could wash out Games
If the monsoon continues to stay away as they are, it could be raining misery on the Commonwealth Games.
The weatherman has predicted a high possibility of showers in Delhi during the fortnight of the Games.
Which means arrangements worth hundreds of crores of rupees to put up a good show during the Games in October could be at the mercy of the weather gods.
Along with the opening and closing ceremonies, sporting events such as cycling and other track and field competitions are all outdoor events, all of which could get washed out.
"We see chances of rainfall in the last week of September and the first week of October," said Ajit Tyagi, DG, Indian Meteorological Department.
The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, the RK Khanna tennis stadium, the Delhi University rugby stadium and the National Stadium for hockey are all open-air facilities as well.
That apart, the Delhi government has planned outdoor cultural events at Central Park in Connaught Place, Dilli Haat and India Gate lawns.
The Tourism department is preparing a host of road shows, tableaux and similar open-air events highlighting Indian culture for the Games visitors with an emphasis on "Brand Delhi" inviting everyone to "come out and play".
CM Sheila Dikshit said while IMD's forecast did concern her, the show would go on even if the elements played spoilsport.
"The weather gods are not in our control, so we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed," she told HT. "But it's still a forecast after all."
The organisers said they were ready to meet the rains.
"I have seen Games happening in continuous rain," said Lalit Bhanot, Secretary General, Commonwealth Games.
"We have a plan even if it rains during the opening ceremony. We're not worried."
"Average rainfall during October is 25.9 mm with the larger share of it (22.4 mm) falling in the first half of the month when the Games are slated to be held," the weather advisory to the OC said.