No CWG pull outs due to Delhi firing: Kalmadi (Lead)

September 20th, 2010 - 10:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Ambika Soni New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) The firing incident near the Jama Masjid here “was not a Games-related matter” and no participating country has expressed security apprehensions over it, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi said Monday.
“It is not a Games related matter…Not a single call (about it has been received) from any Commonwealth country,” Kalmadi said here in response to queries.

Two Taiwanese tourists were injured Sunday when attackers fired at a bus from which a group of tourists was alighting outside the Jama Masjid in Delhi’s old quarters.

Speaking to mediapersons after Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni inaugurated a state-of-the-art main press centre (MPC) of the CWG here, Kalmadi said that all countries will participate in the Games.

“As of today, all 71 countries (and territories) are participating,” he said.

Asked about the travel advisories issued by Australia and Britain in the wake of the firing incident, Kalmadi said many countries issue travel advisories.

“The Commonwealth associations have said that all athletes are going (to Delhi),” he said.

He said all steps had been taken to ensure the safety of participants and chef de missions of all the participating countries and territories had expressed happiness over the arrangements.

“An international security liasoning centre has been set up. The home ministry has put all its strength behind the Games. National Security Guard personnel have been deployed. I don’t think there will be a problem,” Kalmadi said.

He said 200,000 tickets had been sold till now and the sales were expected to pick up closer to the Oct 3-14 event.

Urging the media to look at the positive side, he said many incidents had happened and “we have come out of all that”.

He said the “media can make or break” the Games and its role was crucial in the first three days which would set the tempo for the event.

“You are all partners…We need cooperation from all to show that Delhi is (a) world class (city),” Kalmadi said.

Pointing to the new international airport and Metro connectivity in Delhi, he said the capital had gone ahead by five to 10 years.

Terming the MPC as world class and matching the facilities at the Beijing Olympics, he said all sports stadiums were world-class and the infrastructure was ready.

“Every stadium is a piece of architecture,” he said, pointing out that the opening and closing cereminies of the Games will showcase 5,000 years of India’s culture.

Kalmadi said while the 1982 Asian Games had brought colour television in the country in a big way, the CWG will herald hi-definition television.

Minister Soni said everyone had to contribute to make the Games a success. She said the spirit of Games should permeate across the world.

The MPC, said to be the largest such in the history of the Commonwealth Games, is spread over an area of 6,700 square metres at Pragati Maidan. It will have Wi-Fi connectivity and will cater to 2,000 journalists, including around 800 from overseas. It is equipped to accommodate 600 journalists at any one time.

The MPC will have workstations for 400 journalists and 200 photographers. As many as 600 national and international photographers will be covering the Games. There are around 1,300 photo-positions across the Games venues.

The MPC, which will be run by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), will also have high-definition cable television sets in eight viewing rooms.

Helpdesks at the main lobby will provide information on travel, ticketing, venues and various schedules as well as provide services like distribution of media kits and prime event limited tickets.

The MPC will also have facilities like a post office, a convenience store, a pharmacy, a mobile store and a bank with foreign exchange services and ATMs.

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