Are we ready for the Commonwealth Games?
A parliamentary committee has wondered whether the infrastructure of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi would be completed in time, urging that work on this be taken up at the earliest.
Noting that the "major works relating to the Games are yet to begin", parliament's Standing Committee for the human resource development ministry has expressed its "apprehension about timely completion of various stadiums, games village and other facilities".
The observations came in its report on the sports ministry's demands for grants for 2007-2008 tabled in the Lok Sabha.
The committee recommended starting "civil and other works at the earliest and completed positively by the end of 2009 so that our sportspersons have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the facilities/equipment/grounds much in advance."
The committee was concerned that no allocations had been made for the training Indian sportspersons for the Commonwealth Games while "funds have been projected/allocated for every other activity such as construction of games village, stadia, roads, transport etc".
It reminded the ministry that in one of its previous reports, it had proposed that some percentage of the total allocation for the Games should be earmarked for training Indian sportspersons.
The committee hoped that the ministry "appreciates the high expectations the country has about its performance at the Games. The good showing will bring a change in perception towards sports in the country. The committee, therefore, strongly recommends that every effort be made for world-class training of our athletes on a regular basis."
If the blame game following India's failed bid to host the 2014 Asian Games wasn't damaging enough for Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar - whom opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Arun Jaitley ridiculed as a "spoilsport" minister - the observations of the committee must have further rubbed salt into the embarrassment.
Aiyar made no secret of his opposition to India's Asian Games bid in 2014 and even went public against it to the immense discomfiture of the Indian delegation even as it was making the bid in Kuwait last month.