President Patil to attend Queen's Baton Relay kick-off ceremony

The Queen's Baton is expected to pass through 71 countries starting with a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in LondonThe ceremony, to be watched by an estimated two billion people on television across the globe, will mark the beginning of 1.75 lakh km Queen's Baton Relay (QBR) during which it will travel through 70 countries.

"Queen will handover the baton to India's star shooter Bindra following a grand opening ceremony at the Buckingham Palace.
Launch of the relay will coincide with grand cultural show in Trafalgar Square in London," Delhi Commonwealth Games organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi said.
The baton will reach India through the Wagah Border from Pakistan on June 25. Afterwards, it would travel 25 states and union territories before arriving at its final destination Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi.
Commonwealth Games will be held from October 3-14.
The QBR, which has been a curtain raiser for Commonwealth Games since 1958, will take a week to travel through England.
"Before reaching Nehru Stadium, the baton will travel the country for four months and during the last three days it will travel the national capital," Kalmadi said.

Kalmadi, who is also the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President, caste aside security concerns and said no stone will be left unturned to ensure a troublefree event.
"We have tightened the security for Commonwealth Games. The authorities have put their own security experts on the job for advising the organisers. About 1,000 Police personnel have been earmarked for the event," he said.
On accommodation for visitors during the Games, Kalmadi said, "We had planned for 10,000 rooms and then we decided to have 30,000 more."
Besides, a number of guest houses, hostels are being renovated to provide additional accommodations. The Delhi Development Authority has given 4,000 flats for this purpose.
"There will be no shortage of accommodation," he said.
In addition, Haryana has also agreed to provide 6,000 rooms and Uttar Pradesh another 4,000. The Games village would be one of the bests in the world, he said.
"I can only promise you the best ever Commonwealth Games," Kalmadi said.

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