Fears are being expressed from several quarters that the organization or lack of it surrounding the Commonwealth games could be detrimental to India’s standing and may jeopardize the country’s chances of hosting the Olympics any time soon.
Australia’s Olympic Chief John Coates cautioned that if there was any aspiration towards hosting the Olympics, India would have to do a much better job of preparing for the event.
He especially stressed on the fact that for most international events the venues are prepared in advance – in the case of the Olympics a year in advance. The venues then have test events happening on it to check the organizational efficiency. However, with the infrastructure problems and organizational components still under construction at the Delhi venues, there would be hardly any time to test the venues out. The Commonwealth Games are set to begin on October 3 2010.
The delay and confusion surrounding the venue construction has been mainly attributed to corruption scandals and inefficiency. These developments have been putting the Delhi administration in a bad light. The Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced that although the August 10 deadline for clearing away construction debris had been missed, this issue would be resolved immediately.
From another quarter, Australian security officials have put forward their concerns that there is a shocking lack of coordination regarding security arrangements at the venues. The Beltin Group, which has provided advisory and protection services during the Olympics in Beijing, will be carrying out this service for the Australian media during the Commonwealth Games. Their officials were in Delhi to check out security arrangements and were far from happy with what they saw. They have expressed concern about the delay in certification and handover of completed sites.
All of these concerns are unfolding at a time when many consider that the games could be happening in a ‘high threat environment’. According to documents obtained by the Dominion-Post – a newspaper in Wellington, New Zealand, the pre-Games environment could be considered as a prime opportunity for some kind of a soft target attack, similar to what happened at the German Bakery in Pune.
The event is set to happen from October 3-14, and is reportedly the most expensive Commonwealth Games in history – the budget for infrastructure and organization was $2billion. According to unofficial estimates, almost three times this amount will have been spent for the Games.
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