Indian Lawmakers Criticize New Delhi 2010

As organizers unveiled a series of sports competitions to test facilities ahead of the New Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games scheduled October 3-14, 2010, a panel of Indian lawmakers criticized delays and a lack of coordination in the preparations.

Sitaram Yechury, a federal lawmaker who is chairman of a parliamentary panel on transport, tourism and culture, said he was shocked at the lack of co-ordinated planning only 18 months before the October 2010 event, reports The Australian.

Yechury said, “the committee is perturbed to note that the countdown to the 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 and supply of power”.

According to a report by a parliamentary committee that found “inadequate infrastructure” and a chaotic lack of co-ordination between agencies, only 14,000 hotel rooms were available in and around Delhi when organizers identified that more than 30,000 would be required to accommodate the expected international visitors.

The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee said in reaction to the criticism that construction at most venues was on schedule and that major venues would be ready by December 2009, giving it more than nine months to test the facilities.

Randhir Singh, secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association and a vice president of the organizing panel for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, said, “there’s been a brief delay in some things, but all stake holders are working in tandem. We’re now receiving updates on all venues and have been told by the stake holders that the venues would be handed over to the organizing body from October”.

He added, “construction is in full swing at all venues, except lawn bowls and archers for which major buildings are not to be erected”.

Singh said different sports federations would conduct international events between February and June next year to test the facilities, adding that the facilities would be tested through the multiple-sport trial games scheduled for August 1-12 next year.

Meanwhile Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper is quoted as saying “time is no longer our friend”.

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