Monday, April 26, 2010

Delhi CG Organising Committee standing tall despite challenges

Having been here for two weeks now and settled down, I cannot help but sympathise with the Delhi Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, headed by chairman Suresh Kalmadi, who is also the president of the Indian Olympic Association.
The criticism hurled at them from every angle exceeds the praises or support, the OC rightly deserve.
From the media to the man in the street,  they find something to pick on the OC.
I have watched two television interviews given by Kalmadi and he has been bombarded with hard-hitting questions, but credit to him, on both occasions he came off with excellent answers and putting matters into the right perspective.

The interview last night on NDTV24X7 (view here)

The OC office is working overtime, including on a Sunday, for what is hoped the last time the CGF Coordinating Committee (CoCom) will be in New Delhi to inspect on the progress and facilities in place and scheduled as required for the Games in October.
The CoCom will be in the city on Labour Day and Kalmadi has ensured that every report and presentation is to the expectations of CoCom.
The Games has been made possible with a liberal loan worth 1600 crore rupees (1 crore is 10 million) advanced by the Government of India.
This money has been given as loan which will have to repaid through sponsorships, revenue, merchandising and ticketing - thus returning all the money given on loan.
But the loan has still been an issue locally.
Many sponsors have come on board and Kalmadi  has assured that there is going to be no expenses on their account to the government.
"Whatever is happening, the stadiums, the roads, metro and airport is not just for the 15 days of the Games, but that is a legacy for the city of Delhi to enjoy," Kalmadi has been quoted.
Then, the OC has also to deal with threats and advisories of security alerts.
The highest priority to security has been given by the OC, which could in the end be a nuisance to the guests of the Games, but they are not taking any chances to ensure the safety of all.
Unfavorable foreign reports of security threats is not helping the OC one bit.
Yesterday, panic was triggered in South Delhi after police received an anonymous call claiming that bombs were placed in three city malls.
The caller claimed that the bombs will explode in DLF Mall, Select Citywalk and Metropolitan Mall in Saket. Acting fast, police evacuated people from the malls and conducted searches.
Bomb disposal team and dog squad also joined the searches.
Police too had received a series of anonymous bomb threat calls but all turned out to be hoax. 
Challenging times indeed, but rest assured that the OC is doing everything within it means and more, to ensure that it will be a Games which will make it's mark and remembered for a longtime to come, for all the right reasons, despite all the critics and doubts. They are indeed on track and many of the "test tournaments" held so far has only received accolades from the respective International Federations, competing countries and the CGF top-guns themselves.

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