Friday, July 23, 2010

Our hard work is already bearing fruit: Kalmadi

There are 72 days – and 72 nights – to go for the start of the Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi and the excitement is building up to a crescendo. The headquarters of the Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi, with a staff of close to 2000, is buzzing round the clock as we strive to achieve our collective vision of producing the best Commonwealth Games ever.

I can see that our work is already bearing fruit.  Thanks to the splendid work by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor, security concerns appear to be a thing of the past. It is also clear that the Chefs de Mission of each of the 70 other nations and territories who will compete in the Games went back satisfied after their seminar here a couple of months ago. That is reflected in the fact that each of them is sending its largest ever contingent to a Commonwealth Games.

Delhi 2010 will be the biggest ever Commonwealth Games, what with Australia, England and Canada – and many other nations – telling us that they will field their biggest contingents ever. After all, we have built the Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi around the athletes.  

Be it the competition venues or training venues or the Games Village, catering or transport, we have kept the athlete in focus when designing the facilities and making decisions.  At what has already been described as being better than the Games Village in Beijing, we will expose the athletes to our rich and diverse cultures.

If any athlete chooses to skip the Games, for whatever reason, he or she will be the one missing out on a wonderful Games. For the first time, the athletes will be able to witness the Opening and Closing Ceremonies from the stands and we know we are laying out a veritable treat for them. They will miss a chance to experience our hospitality in a great Games Village and the opportunity to perform in world class conditions.

Of course, barring some exceptions, the best athletes will turn up in Delhi. Let me reassure you that the Commonwealth Games Federation and its President Mr. Mike Fennell are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the best athletes compete in Delhi 2010.

There have been some reports quoting champion sprinter Usain Bolt’s manager and publicist that he may not come to Delhi. All I will say is that at the moment, Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi only knows that the number of athletes from each of the 71 members of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Since the last date for entries by name is September 3, we will know for sure which athletes are coming. I will also point out that Bolt’s fellow Jamaicans Asafa Powell and Yohan Blake are in the same league as him as was seen in the Paris Diamond League event when very little separated them.

Yet, the websites of these Commonwealth Games Associations tell us that some fabulous athletes have been named for their sides. Let me introduce you to some of these athletes. Australian swimming medley queen Stephanie Rice won three gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and is a world record holder. England’s Rebecca Adlington won two swimmer gold medals in Beijing. Australian pole vaulter Steve Hooker is a world champion.

That is not all. English road cyclist Bradley Wiggins has three Olympic gold medals and five world championship titles. England’s squash players, Nick Matthew and Jenny Duncalf are ranked first and second respectively in the world. Pistol shooter Michael Gault, who has 15 medals in Commonwealth Games, will aim to become the most decorated athlete by winning four more medals in Delhi.

Besides all this, the fact that the International Hockey Federation has allotted the 2011 FIH Champions Trophy tournament to India is a clear indication of the success of the test event for the Commonwealth Games – the FIH World Cup 2010 -- and the fact that India did a great job of hosting the event.

To return to talking about the rain in the past week, it did cause some setback but we are seeing it as part of the test events, allowing the venue owners time to carry out the corrections before they hand the venues to us on August 1. I am sure there will be no more delays as we need to get cracking with the overlays work. As we get closer to the D-day, our confidence that we can deliver the best ever Commonwealth Games grows. We know we will.

Commonwealth Games: Only 6 Village towers ready

It's not just the Delhi government facing a manpower crunch for completion of projects related to the Commonwealth Games 2010. Lack of adequate manpower has also had an impact on the work at the Commonwealth Games Village.

According to sources, ITDC, which has been entrusted with the task of furnishing the 34 towers at the Village, has managed to furnish only about six till date. The reason is reportedly lack of adequate labour force. The handover of the Village to the Organising Committee takes place on August 1.

Said a senior official, "The agreement with ITDC was that furnishing of the towers would be completed in three weeks from the day they were handed over to them by the venue owners, in this case, the Delhi Development Authority.'' The handover took place a fortnight ago, claimed DDA officials.

However, less than 10 towers have been furnished till date a fact that has sent distress signals in government circles. Said a senior official, "Of the three weeks that ITDC was supposed to take to finish furnishing the flats, more than a week has gone by. The 1,100-odd flats are now expected to be ready only by August 25.''

ITDC officials, meanwhile, refused to comment on the reason for the delay. PRO, Manjula Arun, directed queries to the ITDC chairman, Lalit Pawar, who was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts.

Sources, however, admit that the reason behind the delay is the lack of manpower. "The work is progressing at a slow pace because enough labour is not available. It's a long process as furnishings like television sets, refrigerators, furniture and decoration pieces have to be unwrapped, put together and set up in every room. It requires a lot of manpower.''

The lack of manpower, in fact, had prompted the L-G, Tejendra Khanna, to visit the Village site on July 20, and ask for augmentation of manpower at the site to enable completion by July 31. It wasn't the first such visit by the L-G. Said Ranjan Mukherjee, OSD to the L-G, "The L-G has been visiting the Village regularly so that preparations get a fillip. The impact is visible: The developers have handed over more than 20 towers to DDA till date, and the rest will be done over the next week.''

DDA officials, meanwhile, say the process to hand over the towers to ITDC for furnishing began in early July. Said a senior DDA official, "The first tower was handed over more than a fortnight ago. We have been handing over the rest as and when we got them from the developers.''

Sources confirmed that some items were still to be received from China, from where ITDC is sourcing them.

New signals run into delay despite fund allocation

Two months to go and the Central government's refusal to hand out more funds for the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2010 is causing a heartburn. The latest is the acknowledgement by the ministry of home affairs that the much-touted intelligent traffic system (ITS), for which the ministry got Rs 200 crore, will not be earmarked for the Games.

Sports officials say MHA's Rs 200 crore could instead have been utilized for other Games-related work, i.e, either infrastructure or training. "The reason why the traffic police was given that fund was because they had said the ITS would be installed for the Delhi Games 2010. Now, the system will not be used for the Games at all,'' said a senior ministry official.

Sources say the funds, which were approved in 2009, form part of the overall Games budget, a fact that is rubbing many the wrong way. A source in the Organising Committee said, "More funds are needed for the conduct of the Games. Yet, here (for ITS) funds have been allocated and the project is not even taking place.''

The tenders for the showcase ITS project, touted to be the one-point solution to manage traffic during the Commonwealth Games, will be floated next week. "The ITS project is in the process of implementation and the tenders are going to be floated next week. The system will not be operational before the Commonwealth Games and only a portion of the Rs 200 crore allocation has been disbursed so far,'' said Ajay Chadha, special commissioner of police (traffic). Of the funds received last year, the traffic police reportedly paid RITES and MTNL for consultancy and the remaining money was returned.

To manage traffic before the Games, the traffic police had plans to have ITS on all 87 corridors spanning across 210 kms which will be used by players and officials. The scheme was to replace signal technology at 302 intersections to reduce congestion on the stretches and track the movement of vehicles from a centralized control room.

Intelligent signals take count of the volume of vehicles at an intersection and automatically adjusts the available green-signal time on the basis of changing traffic demand. In addition to ITS for better traffic management, the selected roads will also be fitted with video cameras to relay real-time images of roads to a centralized control room, and give auto alerts in times of jams caused by accidents or vehicular breakdowns.

There will also be red light speed cameras and automatic number plate recognizer (ANPR) cameras which automatically read number plates of vehicles flouting traffic norms and send the data for generation of challan slips and variable message sign (VMS) boards to give road users information about road conditions ahead and prosecution cameras attached to traffic signals.

As for the Games, the cops are already looking for alternatives like temporary cameras and equipment on key roads. If the tender gets finalized in time, some components of the ITS proposal may be put up too. But traffic management will happen the way it does at present. The only difference is that one lane will be reserved for Games traffic.

Games to run on Tata Motors vehicles

Tata Motors has struck a barter sponsorship deal wherein it will provide 1,800 new cars to organisers of Commonwealth Games to ferry athletes in lieu of its advertisements as a logistics solutions sponsor for the 12-day sporting event.

In a unique arrangement with the Commonwealth Games Committee it would provide these vehicles in exchange for association with the event and will take them back after the sporting event ends.

The cost of these vehicles is expected to in the range of Rs 140-150 crore. However, they will be sold after the sporting event through its used car business ‘Tata Motors Assured’. The value of the nearly fresh vehicles may depreciate by around 20% that could mean Tata Motors is getting the logistics sponsors rights for around Rs 30 crore.

Tata Motors refused to comment on the broader contours of the deal: “We are supplying these vehicles for advertisement benefits and would not like to disclose the commercial implication of the entire deal,” the Tata Motors spokesman said.

Tata Motors will supply 1,600 cars (Indica and Indigo) besides 100 Sumo Grandes and 50 Safaris from its sports utility vehicle stable. It will also supply 20 Wingers besides 30 trucks for the movement of players and organisers. Tata Motors is also providing complete transport solution to the ongoing Queen’s Baton Relay, with its flagship SUV Land Rover Discovery 4, Sumo Grandes and other vehicles being utilised for the country-wide event.

Other auto companies like Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra and Toyota Kirloskar were also in the fray to supply vehicles but failed to get any supply contracts, as per the spokesman for the organising committee.

Meanwhile, luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz is also expected to provide around 50 vehicles—a mix of sedans and SUVs — for the Games that would be utilised for the movement of dignitaries and other important functionaries. The deal is yet to be finalised and company executives said that they are evaluating options for the games.

“The exact quantum of the deal would be determined by the class of vehicles that would be taken by the organisers. A final decision on the deal has not been taken yet,” a senior Mercedes-Benz India executive said.

Sunil Sethi: Delhi, the two-faced Capital

Delhi, the national Capital, was always a double-faced place but in the run up to the Commonwealth Games, it is acquiring a schizophrenic persona. Poised to scale new heights as a world-class metropolis, it also appears to be falling apart. Soaring stadia with lights ablaze, swank villages for 8,000 athletes with private ice cream parlours, a metro burrowing its way to far corners and the T3, touted as the eighth largest terminal in the world. Ok, we got the message.

Why is it then that every time I enter the city, leave the house, try to catch an appointment in the suburbs or accomplish a day’s jobs, I am beset with nightmarish traffic jams, long painful power cuts, waterlogged roads, (and) dangerously incomplete pavements, literally strewn with stumbling blocks? An accurate indicator of the city’s brand-new but instantly collapsing infrastructure was in the newspapers this week — the opening of the municipality’s Rs 650-crore new headquarters (grandly called a civic centre) with leaking roofs, walls soaked from seepage and a basement car park swimming in ankle-high water. Opposition councillors caused a ruckus, brought in the press and an inquiry has been ordered. If that’s the state of the new HQ, it’s no wonder that the vast municipality refuse dump at the end of my street is exactly as I have always known it — a stinking mountain of garbage that takes days to clear. The only new aspect to this putrefying mass is that it has now assumed the proportions of a minor Himalayan peak.

Delhi is savvy, sexy and smart — that’s if you listen to adherents such as Commonwealth Games organisers, the city’s well-insulated ruling elite and its motherly chief minister (who, every time I turn on the car radio, is exhorting children to study harder and parents to keep calm during stressful school exams or elaborating on some tree-planting drive in adverts). Delhi is also progressive and rich — highest per capita income amongst small states and well-above-average social and quality-of-life indicators. Day-to-day life here, however, is not what it’s cracked up to be.

Despite massive investment and higher levies (rates for power, water and property tax are all up) and the 70-day race to complete preparations for the Commonwealth Games, there is no evidence that Delhi’s roads are less congested, electricity or water supply better managed or the Jamuna river less of a sewer than before. Is it that Delhi can’t cope with its embarrassment of riches? Sheila Dikshit has actually announced prizes — by way of an extra month’s salary — for officials if building works are finished on time. The city’s coffers may run deep but its management is stuck in a quagmire of mismanagement and sloth.

A burgeoning metro and a fleet of low-slung, air-conditioned buses have made no appreciable difference to its clogged arteries. Long the motor vehicle Capital of India, the city continues to add 1,000 cars a day to its streets. Privatisation of power has not reduced shortages — outages were long and frequent through the summer months with markets covered in a miasma of generator fumes. Prices of diesel on the black market rocketed as supplies ran out. And come the first monsoon showers, sections of the city routinely grind to a halt as roads begin to resemble rivers in spate.

Where do the funds go in one of the richest places in the country? Mostly into the pockets of the Hydra-headed government, the multiplicity of agencies assigned to the same job. A case in point is the decades-old project to clean up the Jamuna, Delhi’s main waterway. The Commonwealth Games should have been the perfect moment to restore it as the city’s central showpiece, a sign of the Capital’s overall prosperity and health. Despite crores of rupees spent, noisy public campaigns, endless committees and judicial interventions, it remains a parched eyesore and repository of much of Delhi’s filth. Reason: there are 13 central and state bodies involved in its proposed transformation.

Like the ambitious overreacher who falls flat, Delhi talks big. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi

The Commonwealth Games celebrates the athletic exploits of sovereign states once part of the vast British Empire. One explicit intention of the Olympic-style event is to foster a sense of unity among nations who, because of a mutual experience and history through links to the Crown, share a common bond (or bondage, as it was). The natural dissolution of British colonial rule over time has led some to question the relevance of the Commonwealth of Nations and indeed, the Commonwealth Games itself.

Despite occasional disputes however – Pakistan, South Africa and Nigeria have all spent considerable time in the proverbial Commonwealth dog house – the Games still serve as a powerful symbol of harmony and friendship. After all, the modern-day Commonwealth of Nations is not a political or military alliance like NATO but a coalition of states, who on paper at least, work in accord to promote world peace, individual liberty, democracy and good governance. Thus, with the motto “Humanity, Equality, Destiny”, thousands of athletes from 72 teams will descend on Delhi from October 3-14 to take part in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

While twice host of the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982, Delhi and indeed India, has not seen the likes of a multi-sport event quite like the Commonwealth Games. The National Capital Territory of India beat out Hamilton, Ontario, Canada – the first host of the Games in 1930 – for the honour. With that, the eyes of much of the world will focus on the immense metropolis of 20 million people come October 2010.

Delhi’s Commonwealth Games has already won one impressive, and perhaps dubious, distinction: most expensive Games ever. The total budget for the event is somewhere in the £1 billion range – and that excludes infrastructure projects like airport, road and mass transport improvements, all of which Delhi was in dire need of to begin with. As a result, Indira Gandhi International got a serious facelift in the run-up to the Games. The airport can now accommodate 37 million passengers a year, thanks to a state-of-the-art new terminal and 4.4 km-long runway (a record for Asia). Swish refurbs to Delhi hotels also look to impress visitors and athletes alike.

The focus come October 3 however, will be on Delhi’s sports arenas and stadiums. Commonwealth Games athletes will compete in:

• Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi – Athletics, lawn bowls, weightlifting
• Indira Gandhi Arena – Archery, cycling, gymnastics, wrestling
• Yamuna Sports Complex – Table tennis
• Dhyan Chand National Stadium – Hockey
• RK Khanna Tennis Complex – Tennis
• Talkatora Stadium – Boxing
• Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range – Shooting
• SPM Swimming Pool Complex – Aquatics
• Siri Fort Sports Complex – Badminton, Squash
• Thyagaraj Stadium – Netball
• Delhi University sports complex – Rugby sevens

The focal point of the Delhi Commonwealth Games will be without question, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Renovations to the headquarters of the Indian Olympic Association will allow up to 75,000 spectators to comfortably enjoy various track and field events.

Another vital aspect of the 2010 Commonwealth Games is a commitment by the host city, nation and participants to engage in “best sustainable practices”. Ever-complex with multi-sport events as big and exigent on the environment as the Commonwealth Games, the Delhi committee nonetheless made a pledge to the United Nations to hold the first-ever “Green Games”. Despite criticism from some in the eco-advocate community, supporters of the Commonwealth Games point, for example, to world-class benchmarks set in the construction of the Thyagaraj Sports Complex. The netball stadium features a rainwater management system, solar energy and green technology materials.

International tourists who descend on Delhi for the Commonwealth Games will encounter a metropolis transformed. Vast beautification measures have indelibly altered the cityscape of the capital. In a controversial initiative, entire slums have either been razed or cut off from view by immense bamboo screens. Parks have been newly landscaped, boulevards lined with trees, historic landmarks revitalized, and English taught to cab drivers, hotel porters, clerks and service industry personnel. The fervent effort to scrub the capital region for the Commonwealth Games is all part of a grand, unambiguous attempt to market and showcase Delhi to the world.

Go for all-night work: Dikshit directive for finishing CWG projects

Scrambling to complete several key projects linked to the Commonwealth Games, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today ordered various agencies concerned to work "day and night" to finish works within the final deadline of August 31.

With just 71 days left for the mega sporting event and many of the key projects running behind schedule, Dikshit directed PWD, MCD, NDMC, DJB, Delhi Development Authority and several other agencies to also deploy additional workforce to complete work at the earliest.

"I have instructed the agencies to work during night also wherever it is necessary. We have already obtained permission from police for that," Dikshit said later.

Asking the agencies to strictly comply with the August 31 deadline, she told them that only plantation and carrying out finishing touches will be allowed in the month of September.

Facing the heat for unfinished projects, Dikshit, during a pep talk with PWD engineers yesterday, had asked them to "rise to the occasion" and promised to reward them with one month's salary for completing the works on time.

The city government had undertaken projects worth over Rs 10,000 crore to improve infrastructure in the capital for the sporting extravaganza. The pressure on it to complete the works has been growing with each passing day as most of the projects, including the Barapullah Nalla project, considered very important, already missing several deadlines.

The Barapullah Nalla elevated road between Sarai Kale Khan and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main venue of the event, is being built to provide uninterrupted traffic flow from Games Village to the stadium.

The Organising Committee had earlier this month expressed its dissatisfaction over slow pace of work and requested Dikshit to complete the projects at the earliest.

In today's meeting, Dikshit also asked the agencies to remove all the construction wastes by August 10.

Dikshit told the department heads that if any digging of road and footpath was required after August 10, then the agency concerned will have to restore it in earlier form immediately.

Talking to reporters, she said main objective of the meeting was to ensure effectively coordination among various agencies and overcome obstacles coming in the way of accomplishing the projects.

The NDMC told the meeting that restoration of Connaught Place will be completed by August 31. The agency is refurbishing Connaught Place at a total cost of Rs 700 crore.

In the meeting, Traffic Police submitted a comprehensive list of pedestrian crossings. The MCD, NDMC and PWD have been told to paint the crossings at the earliest.

CWG 2010: Common man's wealth games

The government says that, the objective behind getting the games here was to showcase Delhi as an international city (as termed by the Home Minister) people across the globe should see that how Delhi has developed over the decades.

I STILL remember an article in a leading English newspaper in late 2003, which appreciated the efforts of the government for getting the Commonwealth Games to Delhi, as it had won the bid in Jamaica. Though the state government started the preparation in 2004, but lately I actually forgot the term CWG, and it was only a year back, that the newspapers and online news websites starting buzzing about it.

I wonder where they were from past six years. Everyday I watch the TV news channels smearing the Delhi government whenever they see a open manhole on the footpath, or a waterlogged road. Till now everything seems to be messy, whether it is BRT, Cannaught Place or Greater Kailash, the preparation has hit the people hard, the construction in Delhi means traffic, traffic = loss of time, and that in turn means loss of money. That is why people now try their best to avoid these routes.

The government says that, the objective behind getting the games here was to showcase Delhi as an international city (as termed by the Home Minister) people across the globe should see that how Delhi has developed over the decades (lets say over the months), how the infrastructure has improved (lets say construction has taken place).

And when I discuss this issue with people, I get mixed response, some say that the city is becoming better, on the other hand, some people think that it is just a waste of money. But I am looking at the bigger picture, I believe that such events should take place, on the same time I am against event based development. The important issue is that how these games can create an improved long term infrastructure for the city, as I am very hopeful that after event we will again see vendors on the footpath, the beggars on the streets, water logging during monsoons, water and electricity crisis during summers, and regular traffic jams on the road.

But if I only talk about the elite and the middle class I will selfishly be ignorant to those who form the 70 per cent majority in Delhi, ie, those who are living illegally in the city, with more than 1100 slums and 1700 unauthorised colonies, I see Delhi still short of an international city.

What makes me more sad is that how can the governemt spend Rs 100 crores on the roof of a stadium and completely forget the fact that thousands of people live in Delhi without a roof, when hundreds of people die every year not because of accidents or diseases but because of heat and cold wave.

That is why I along with my team mates from United Volunteer Association (UVA) took this initiative of presenting petition to every MLA of the Delhi Legislative Assembly, which was related to giving some financial and social assistance to the underprivileged (ie, establishment of a fund for construction of houses for the sum dwellers). Imagine the entire Delhi becoming more clean, educated, and healthier and more livable with the same amount which is being spent on the 11 day event.

Even the politicians gave mixed reviews, but it was surprising for me when some of the Congress MLA’s smeared the Chief Minister, but also conveyed their inability to do anything as far as this issue was concerned, as a rift with the CM could cost them their seat.

On the other hand, the Opposition was unexpectedly keeping quiet, partly because the fact that the leader of Opposition is in the organising committee and partly because of the fact that it was the NDA government which had actually went for the bidding. But I still feel that the opposition should have taken on the government on this issue, as it is very closely related to the people not only of the city but of the entire country.

Last month I met the ex-president of Delhi Congress and the MLA from Kalkaji Subhash Chopra, being a head of the committee which is looking after the preparations in South Delhi, he gave us very crucial information which no other MLA could, he told us that out of the total expenditure almost 90 per cent has been provided to the Delhi government by the Centre.

This came as a shock to me because Delhi government has been increasing taxes on various essential commodities, also on property and fuel which in turn has led to the increase in food prices, just for the sake of CWG, but if the Centre was providing them with money, then where was the money of city’s taxpayer? The government is making everything more complex and confusing not only for itself but for the people also.
I also see the government defending itself when it starts counting the number of new metro lines being started, number of flyovers and roads being constructed, but I want to put this very clear: “Do we really need games for development?” In my opinion, as a state becomes more populous, its demand also augments, all this work had to be done looking at the constantly increasing population.

Unfortunately, now its too late for the government to take necessary measures, the priority of the CM is to make sure that Delhi looks better and cleaner, with no traffic on the roads, and covering the dirty areas with green cloth. It seems to me that, ‘aal izz well’ concept is still the tagline of this government.

Delhi Metro starts trial runs on Lajpat Nagar section

The Delhi Metro Friday began trial runs on the much-awaited Central Secretariat-Lajpat Nagar section of the  Badarpur corridor, an official said, adding that the line was expected to open by September.

He said the trial runs on the nine-kilometer stretch would continue for a week.

“The Badarpur corridor is expected to open for the public by September before the Commonwealth Games after attaining safety clearances,” said the official of the Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC).

After a week of trail runs, the Central Secretariat-Lajpat Nagar stretch would be gradually extended to Okhla and later to the other sections until Badarpur.

“This line is one of the most challenging to construct for the DMRC as the total time available for construction was very short — only 41 months were available,” the official said.

The 20.16 km Central Secretariat-Badarpur corridor was the second standard gauge corridor after the Inderlok-Mundka Metro line.

There are 16 stations on the Central Secretariat-Badarpur corridor: Central Secretariat, Khan Market, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and Jangpura stations will be under ground while Lajpat Nagar, Moolchand, Kailash Colony, Nehru Place, Kalkaji Mandir, Govindpuri, Okhla, Jasola, Sarita Vihar, Mohan Estate, Tughlakabad and Badarpur stations will be elevated.

Everything on track for Commonwealth Games: Kalmadi

Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman of the Comonwealth Games Organising Commitee, said Thursday he is confident that everything will fall in place in time for the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.

"Everything is ready and on the right track," Kalmadi, who is also the president of the Indian Olympic Association, told IANS on the sidelines of the launch of a book "India For a Billion Reasons".

The last few days have been turbulent for the organisers. Some leading athletes of world have pulled out of the Games. The monsoon is also playing spoilsport and causing major hindrances in the preparations.

Asked about triple Olympian and double World champion Usain Bolt's participation, Kalmadi said: "I have had a talk with (Commonwealth Games Federation chief) Mike Fennell, let's see what happens. Moreover, the final date for participants to confirm their entries is September 6."

He, however, brushed aside a question on the flooding of stadiums and the collapsing of stadium roofs due to the rains, saying: "That question is for the government to answer."

On the issue of seeking funds from the Board of Control for Cricket in India Kalmadi said, "We are requesting sponsorship from them. We are still in talks with them."

back to top