Commonwealth Games trial events pushed to 2010 AugustFebruary 24th, 2009 - 9:50 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) The trial competitions for the 2010 Commonwealth Games have been pushed to August 2010, just two months before the start of the showpiece event even as a Parliamentary Standing Committee said that the preparation for the Games are lagging far behind.
The trial events were supposed to be held well in advance before the Commonwealth Games but since the infrastructure is still not in place, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) decided to host the trial events Aug 1-12.
Asked why the events are being held just two months before the Commonwealth Games, organising committee vice-chairman Randhir Singh said: “If we had held it a year back then after the events the stadiums would have been left unused and wouldn’t have been fit for the main event.”
The development comes on a day when a Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by CPI-M Rajya Sabha member Sitaram Yechury said that Delhi is running far behind the schedule in preparing for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
“The committee is perturbed to note that the countdown to Commonwealth Games has begun but there seems inadequate infrastructure in all sectors such as roads, airport, accommodation, surface transport, entertainment, basic amenities, parking, information centres, security, stadia and supply of power.”
The committee expressed concerned that no proposal from the Delhi government for the infrastructure development, creation and renovation of hospitality facilities, modernisation of tourist sites was submitted or pending with the ministry of tourism till Nov 2008. The committee felt many projects are yet to be initiated, let alone completed.
But Randhir Singh, during a field review at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex, said that all work including construction of the stadiums will be finished on time.
“The National Stadium and the Thyagaraj Sports Complex will be completed by Sep 30 while the Talkatora Stadium will be done by Oct 31 and other stadiums will be finished by Dec 31. The only stadium that will be completed next year is the cycling velodrome. It will be completed by March 31, 2010 because it is being reconstructed as the cycling world body wanted it to be covered, air-conditioned and with wooden tracks,” said Randhir Singh.
V.K. Verma, director general of the organising committee, said that due to the recession all the estimates of construction are being reviewed by the government.
“Today we met the cabinet secretary and all the estimates of the construction cost are being reviewed. The prices of steel and cement have gone up so the matter has been taken up again,” he said.
Verma, who is also the president of the Badminton Association of India (BAI), said that the Asian Championship will be a test event and will be held in April-May at the Siri Fort Auditorium.
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