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Countdown 2010

Will Delhi be able to live up to the standards as the next host of the Commonwealth Games, asks Sonal Srivastava.

india Updated: Aug 01, 2006 15:59 IST

Aishwary Rai, Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukerji and company might have danced to perfection at the closing ceremony of Melb ourne Commonwealth Games earlier this year, inviting the world to Delhi for Commonwealth Games 2010. But will we be able to pull off a Melbourne in Saddi Dilli, which is yet to find a solution for its bad roads, slipshod electricity and a stuck up transport system?

Well, four years is a long time and we will just have to wa it to see how successful will the government be in present ing Delhi as an experience to remember in 2010.

In right earnest

The problems seem gargantuan, but the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee are upbeat and have enough plans for the Games. Says Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the Organising Committee 2010 Commonwealth Games, “All venues have been finalised.

The stadia will be renovated and some new ones will come up for disciplines like net ball and aquatics.” The Nehru stadium, Thyagaraja stadium, Indira Gandhi stadium, Yamuna sports complex and parts of DU will all get a makeover.

Problems galore

With many stakeholders involved in the hosting of the Games — the Govt of India, IOA, Delhi government and several other agencies, the ride to 2010 doesn’t seem to be smooth.

The finances are already facing a crunch with the Centre asking a reduction in the budget, and the Delhi University recently bac ked out of its commitment for a new aquatics complex.

However, Rajiv Srivastava of the Organising Committee says, “Coordination between various government agencies will be sorted out.”

Optimistic note

As for the people, its not coordination between the agencies but infrastructure that is an issue of concern. Tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi says, “Infrastructure needs to be taken care of. I’ve heard of the plans and I’m sure the government will do the needful.” Rahul Bose, actor and rugby player, too sounds optimistic: “We will be able to match up to Melbourne and we should aspire to turn out like Germany which played perfect hosts during the soccer World Cup.” Well, let’s just hope that we will pull the act together in time and successfully do a Melbourne for 2010, if not better.