CGF to keep tab on progress

CGF to keep tab on progress

Independent monitoring panel formed to review New Delhis preparations

In a subtle message to the organisers, the CGF President Michael Fennell said that an independent technical panel will monitor the capital’s progress so that it meets all the new deadlines, though Delhi could still host a a successful Games next year.

“I have no doubt that the 2010 Games can still be great Games, provided all corrective measures are taken and there is no further slippage,” Fennell told reporters here. “The CGF Executive Board has decided to establish a high-level, independent, technical review panel, that will monitor the progress. This panel will comprise of Chairman and other members who will be experts in their field. They would give us monthly report on in an open, transparent fashion,” said Fennell, who has been critical of the capital’s tardy preparation.

The Commonwealth Coordination Commission would also maintain its monitoring, he said. “The Commission will continue its visit and they would come next on December 14 to address all key areas and all operational areas,” Fennell said.

Reminding that time was running out fast, Fennell said, “Two years before the Games, I had told the OC that time was not your friend and now one year before it, I say time is your enemy. But together, we can defeat it.”

Fennell said a Chef-de-Missions meeting would take place in March next year where the head of the missions would take stock of the progress and return home accordingly. The CGF chief identified infrastructure and security as two important areas and sounded confident with both.

“A great deal has been discussed and achieved. Despite lagging behind, we feel the venues would be ready in 2010 well before testing events. That remains a top priority because venues cannot afford anymore slippage and it should be ensured that the new deadlines are met.

Meanwhile, Sports Minister MS Gill said it was unfair to compare Delhi with previous host cities like Melbourne. “This is not Melbourne, this is not Glasgow. Delhi is a city of 15 million people, one of the greatest cities of India. It has all the problems that great cities have –– from Tokyo to Lagos to Delhi,” Gill said.

“And that is a continuing phenomenon but within that we have to make arrangements that are acceptable and seen as good. While you may like the progress you have seen over the past few months, we can see that there is plenty to be done.” Fiji’s participation in the  Games received a rude shock after the CGF on Monday suspended the country’s membership from the CGF following it’s abatement from the Commonwealth last month.