Time for Delhi to step on the pedal

With 22 days left, a lot of work is still pending

Time for Delhi to step on the pedal

But as the journey deepens into the interiors of New Delhi, cutting across some CWG venues, a much gloomier image emerges from the shadows of all that have been ritzy so far. Roads are still getting completed, big bulldozers still clank around and some of the venues still have not sported that appearance for the big occasion.

Rains that have been continuously lashing the capital have added to the woes of the authorities, but they preferred to present a brave face. “There have been some delay in completing the stadiums, but all the venues are ready now to host the events and athletes. These stadiums are capable of hosting even events like Olympics,” said Lalit Bhanot, secretary general of the Organising Committee.

With just 22 days remaining for the quadrennial show, his words seem more like a tall promise. A visit to the Yamuna Sports Complex, 10km from the Games Village, where archery and table tennis events are to be held, reveals a disturbing picture with debris lying all around. The surroundings resembled a mini-lake due to heavy water-logging.
“Still a lot of work remains to be done and the toilets are getting completed. We have to work till late in the night in the remaining days to give it the finishing touch before the Games,” a worker said.

Water-logging has also caused concerns of a dengue outbreak, with many countries writing to the organisers about their fears. Despite these jarring notes, the show will certainly begin on October 3 but with plenty of unanswered questions.

CWG is expected to mirror India’s ever-improving economic status and its ability to stage big events. In that respect, the 2010 edition will invariably be compared to its predecessor Melbourne while parallels will also be drawn with the way our neighbours China organised the Olympic Games in 2008 besides readying Guangzhou for the Asian Games in November this year without an iota of concern.

The Australians had done a remarkable job four years earlier and the 18th edition of the event is still being hailed for its smooth organisation.

In this scenario, it is imperative that Delhi live up to that set international standard. Anything less than a Perfect 10 will be viewed as a blot considering the time the organisers had to prepare for the Games. But it has been a struggle all the way as they failed to project the event in the right manner.

In contrast, the organisers of the next Games in Glasgow have done a far better job. The Scottish city has adopted the theme ‘One Games, One Dream, One Team’ and work has been on in full swing for a while now. Scotland has the experience of holding a sporting event of this magnitude, having hosted the 1986 Games in Edinburgh. But they have not allowed that advantage to turn into complacency.

 “The venues will be ready much before the Games. We need to upgrade a few venues and we are sure this Games will leave a lasting impression on our socio-economic spheres,” Gordon Arthur, Director of Communications, Glasgow 2014, said in an e-mail.
So, the challenge in front of CWG 2010 is to grow from infancy to the prime of youth in just over three weeks. A big task indeed!

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