Kalmadi says CGOC has answered its critics

July 26th, 2010 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi had a dig Monday at those who had doubts over India’s capacity and capability to organise the mega event, saying the same people are now singing praises of the state-of-art facilities.
Speaking at a function here to take over the first completed venue — R.K. Khanna Tennis Complex — for the Oct 3-14 Games, Kalmadi said two people who had grave apprehensions about the preparations, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) chief Michael Fennell and Australian Commonwealth Games chief executive Perry Crosswhite, are now happy with the way the things have shaped up.

“I went to see the cycling velodrome and it is a world class facility. So are all the other venues. Now everyone is happy with the preparations. Michael Fennell is happy and even Perry Crosswhite, who has been our biggest critic, too, is happy.

“There was even a talk of shifting the Games to Melbourne and there were doubts over the ability of a developing country to host the event. We will show that we can host the best Commonwealth Games ever,” Kalmadi told reporters.

Kalmadi also said the Games will leave a lasting legacy for the city.

“Delhi is a world class city now. A new airport, metro, low floor buses, the beautification projects, these are not for 15 days of the Games. Please do not put the money spent on sprucing up the city in our (Commonwealth Games) account. These are for lifetime. They will remain long after the Games.”

“I can only admire the way Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and Jaipal Reddy, who heads the Group of Ministers overseeing the preparations, have worked to see that everything is in place. They have played a great role.”

Both Dikshit and Reddy shared the dais with Kalmadi.

Kalmadi also congratulated All India Tennis Association (AITA) for completing the stadium in time and handing it over to the CWG.

“This is the first stadium that is being formally handed over to the CGOC. I congratulate AITA and its secretary general Anil Khanna for developing the venue with a lot of care and finishing it on time. I am sure there will now be a lot of tennis action here.

“This is the first time that tennis is part of the Commonwealth Game. India have a strong team and we are looking forward to winning a handful of medals.”

“I think the Indian team can start practising here so that they have the home advantage.”

Khanna said the DLTA complex has hosted the largest number of international events held at any venue in the world.

“It has been upgraded at a cost of Rs.200 crore and AITA is the only private body entrusted with the responsibility of constructing a venue. The venue is environment- friendly and it is a perfect example of public-private partnership model as AITA received great support from the government and the CGOC. The stadium was designed keeping its future sustainability.”

“The stadium is 100 percent complete. Some of the overlay work has already started and it will be handed over to the CGOC from Aug 1 in phases.”

The state-of-art stadium has a centre court with a seating capacity of 5,000, number one court with a seating capacity of 1,000, six match courts and six practice courts.

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