India ‘absolutely ready’ for Commonwealth Games (Roundup)September 20th, 2010 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) A day after unidentified gunmen sprayed bullets on two Taiwanese tourists in the national capital, India said Monday it was “now absolutely ready” for the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games and was aiming for “perfection” in infrastructure and services.
Indian authorities also stressed that the country was a safe destination and the security of tourists is of utmost importance to the government.
With barely two weeks to go for the Commonwealth Games, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Monday reviewed the preparations and said the city was “now absolutely ready”.
Endorsement also came from Australia’s Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) chief Perry Crosswhite. He dismissed speculation that the shooting incident near the Jama Masjid in the city’s old quarters was linked to the mega-event.
Crosswhite and some other AGCA officials are in Delhi to oversee the state of the Games’ Village and the security situation before the nation’s 600-strong contingent of athletes and officials start arriving Sep 23.
However, Australia’s federal Sports Minister Mark Arbib said the government’s advice remained for people in Delhi “to exercise a high degree of caution”. Arbib himself is set to attend the Games.
The Australian government also updated its travel advisory for India and the Commonwealth Games. Britain followed suit and warned its citizens about possible terror attacks in New Delhi but Taiwan underplayed the shooting of two of its citizens in the city a day earlier.
Indian Mujahideen, a terrorist organisation is suspected to be involved in the Jama Masjid shooting. It also warned of further attacks in Delhi and Mumbai.
Terming Sunday’s attack a “show of desperation” to “create panic”, Tourism Minister Kumari Selja appealed “to tourists and the tourism fraternity not to panic by such stray incidents as India is a safe destination and safety and security of tourists is utmost concern of the government”.
“Investigating agencies are at work to bring the culprits to book,” she said in a statement issued here.
A home ministry official also stressed that the incident would have no impact on the security plans for the Commonwealth Games.
“The Jama Masjid incident have no impact on the security preparations for the CWG. We have informed officials of foreign countries about the incident and the follow-up measures,” a senior home ministry official told IANS.
“Several countries have made inquiries through their channels - security consultants and agencies,,” the official said, adding that India was “not ruling out any possibility and taking any incident lightly”.
He said the ministry and security agencies have begun a “24×7 monitoring exercise ” regarding the CWG, where inputs from the police and security agencies were constantly reviewed and analysed.
“We are anticipating several red herrings and incidents to create a scare and fears before CWG. So far, there have been on direct threats to the Games based on any actionable intelligence,” he said.
Visiting the injured in the hospital, Ko Chang and Ku Ze Wei, both in their 20s, Dikshit asked people to remain alert and not panic, especially as the incident comes just 15 days ahead of the games.
“I have spoken to the Delhi Police Commissioner to strengthen security arrangements so that there is foolproof security during the Games,” she said.
“As the city is now absolutely ready to host an international sports event, it is the need of the hour to keep a close eye on newly-developed infrastructure, greenery, street lights, street-scaping, high mast lights and other vital civic services to ensure constant perfection,” she added.
Some 7,000 participants and officials from 71 countries and territories are expected to attend the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games, India’s biggest sporting event after the 1982 Asian Games.
- Games not a terror target, says Australian association chief - Sep 20, 2010
- Commonwealth Games Digest Sep 20, 2010 - Sep 20, 2010
- Hunt on for Jama Masjid attackers; injured Taiwanese better (Lead) - Sep 20, 2010
- No impact of Jama Masjid shooting on Games: Bhanot - Sep 19, 2010
- High risk of terror attack in Delhi: Australian advisory (Lead) - Sep 20, 2010
- Britain, Australia give travel warnings, Taiwan doesn't (Afternoon Lead) - Sep 20, 2010
- Two Taiwanese shot at Jama Masjid, man detained (Roundup) - Sep 19, 2010
- India a safe tourist destination: Minister - Sep 20, 2010
- Jama Masjid shootout: Home Minister Chidambaram meets injured at LNJP hospital - Sep 19, 2010
- Top nations undecided on CWG participation (Roundup) - Sep 22, 2010
- Delhi is absolutely ready for Games: Chief Minister - Sep 20, 2010
- CWG mess: Fennel may seek Manmohan Singh's intervention - Sep 23, 2010
- Home Ministry seeks report from Delhi Police in Jama Masjid shootout incident - Sep 19, 2010
- Firing at Jama Masjid, two Taiwanese injured (Third Lead) - Sep 19, 2010
- Australia seeks answers from India over Games Village - Sep 22, 2010
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