Wednesday, August 25, 2010

'Commonwealth' Games no good to the common public: Azim Premji

The gross spending on the Delhi Commonwealth Games has been estimated at Rs. 11,494 crore which is quite exorbitant compared to its original estimate of Rs. 655 crore. If the additional amount of Rs. 16,560 spent by Delhi government for the development of infrastructure in the capital and the real cost of labour had to be included, then the real cost of the games will be much higher, says Azim Premji.

The infrastructure included new airport terminal, wider roads, new flyovers, Metro rail extensions and when it comes to real cost of labour, Premji says that labourers were paid minimum wages, made to work in unsafe conditions and were housed in sub human tenements.

According to Premji, the spending of Rs. 28,000 crore of public fund serves nothing good to the common public and this kind of spending does not befit to the concept out of which the idea of Commonwealth Games had germinated. The term 'commonwealth' originally meant public welfare, things that are for the greater good of society. "There are few things as uplifting as watching a sportsperson push physical and mental limits to achieve the incredible. The Commonwealth Games, like the Olympics, are a celebration of the human spirit of excellence. Therefore, in itself, the Games are a worthy endeavour," says Premji.

Premji pesters to question whether the thousands of crores being spent on the Delhi Commonwealth Games is being spent wisely. When it comes to schools, better infrastructure for existing schools and more teachers, we have to compromise on funds. To encourage sports in the country, the government must ensure playgrounds, good equipments and quality coaching. It would be a wrong priority to look snub the grassroot priorities and spend extravagantly on such a grand event of sport.

"Despite the wonderful economic strides of the past two decades, the reality is that India is a poor country. A recent study by the University of Oxford measured levels of education, health and living standard in the world's poorest countries. This study shows that India continues to be predominantly poor. In fact, there are more poor people in eight Indian states than in the 26 poorest African countries combined," Premji added.

Slow ticket sales for Delhi Games

Only two per cent of tickets for October's Commonwealth Games in Delhi have been sold, with organisers banking on a late rush to fill stadiums.

Some 50,000 tickets have been sold so far from a total of 2.3 million available for the October 3-14 Games in the Indian capital.

Organisers concede they're likely to experience a shortfall of sales in the vicinity of half a million tickets.

Tickets have been available since June 4 online, and the pace of sales was expected to pick up once tickets were available over the counter from Wednesday.

However, the start to the second phase of the ticketing process, when online bookings were also to translate into physical tickets, did not go smoothly.

Hundreds of people returned empty-handed from designated counters across New Delhi on Wednesday because the tickets had yet to arrive.

Games organising committee secretary-general Lalit Bhanot blamed a technical glitch for the delay.

"There was some problem with the distribution system but we have things in place now and the process will start on Thursday," Bhanot said.

Demand for tickets so far has not been for sports, but rather opening and closing ceremonies.

But the ceremonies will be largely for the affluent due to the cost - most of the tickets are priced at 5,000 rupees ($A119), 25,000 rupees ($616) and 50,000 rupees ($A1,165).

The prices are steep in a country where a person's average monthly income is about 3,000 rupees ($A72).

The lowest denomination of tickets for the ceremonies, priced at 1,000 rupees ($A24) have sold quickly, with only 3,000 remaining.

"The tickets for the ceremonies are expensive but those for sports events are much cheaper," Bhanot said.

He dismissed fears of black marketing and counterfeiting of tickets.

"Tickets are being given only to those with identity proofs," he said.

"Also, the tickets cannot be counterfeited as they have been published with great care at the national security press where currency notes are printed."

Delhi Games tickets delayed by 'glitch'

Hundreds of people queuing for Commonwealth Games tickets in New Delhi were turned away from outlets because the tickets hadn't arrived.

Games tickets were meant to be available at outlets in the Games host city from 9am local time on Wednesday.

But Games organisers blamed a technical glitch for a 10-hour delay in the arrival of tickets at about 30 outlets, Indian media reported Thursday.

Tickets finally arrived at outlets from 7pm local time, the Times of India reported.

Online tickets for the October 3-14 Games in the Indian capital have been available since June 4.

But collection of the tickets, and non-online purchase of tickets, was scheduled from Wednesday.

Games organisers blamed "system maintenance" for the ticket delay, the Times of India reported.

"The tickets were made available as soon as the system was updated, there is no problem," the organising committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot told the newspaper.

One outlet, the Central Bank of India, said more than 100 people turned up at a branch.

"We kept sending people back through the day ... we had to inform them that tickets were not available," the bank's assistant general manager BS Harilal told the newspaper.

Sports, city infrastructure is handled by the govt, not me

Yes, we can do it. It is the firm belief of the Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi that we will conduct the Games so well that all of India comes together as one and echoes this sentiment with pride. We are committed to realising the Indian dream of delivering the best

My faith in the people of Delhi and India is immense. I believe they will understand that the budget of the OC is just Rs 1620 crore, including salaries, taxes and rent. The responsibility of my team is to run the Games with this budget. People are well aware that the sports and city infrastructure development have been handled by the Central and State governments.

Sadly, those who mould public opinion seem to make little effort to present facts as they are. Let me cite the example of the case of a toilet roll being ‘bought’ for Rs 3751 each when the truth is that this is the price for a carton of 100 rolls. Such exaggerations were the order of the day and media would not even carry the correct version.

Instead, every development is given a slant to make it seem like the task is beyond India’s collective will.  The decision of the Government to depute 10 officers to different venues to ensure greater co-ordination among the different agencies there is another example. The media interpreted it as a takeover of the OC itself.

The media, by and large, ignored the fact that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had said during his meeting on Aug 14 that additional senior and experienced officers would be deputed as required. The media overlooked the fact that the OC had been asking for a number of officers from the Government and the Defence to be seconded to work with us.

The other example that I would like to offer you concerns a long list of champions who have been selected by their respective nations to compete, which will see the biggest participation by athletes. See how little play this has got and compare it with how the withdrawal of athletes due to injury has been showcased as their reluctance to compete here. It doesn’t seem to matter that teams like Australia, England and Canada are sending their largest contingents ever to a Games held outside their own nations.

I am convinced that we will see world-class performances and new champions will be born here. I am delighted that as many as 160 nations will watch the broadcasts. These include the United States for the first time. Despite the attempts to distract us, my team and I have been able to focus on our primary task of producing a grand international sporting event. I am proud of the 3000 strong workforce that is burning midnight oil to ensure that we deliver a great Games.

I know it has been tough for the workforce to keep its morale high against the backdrop of the smear campaign in the media. I believe each one of the staff is committed to rising above all that and making India proud.

I am also happy with the strong support given by the Indian Olympic Association. I have already stated that I am open to any investigation. We shall support the investigation by the government agencies and answer any query they have.

Talking of pride, I am a former Indian Air Force pilot. I would not do anything to dent that pride. Let me assure you: the OC will leave no stone unturned to ensure the smooth conduct of the Games. Delhi has been a wonderful sport all along and there is no reason for it to change now.

Printed on currency paper, Games tickets finally launched

The Commonwealth Games tickets are finally here. And for the first time in the history of this sporting event, tickets have been printed on the same paper as currency notes.

The tickets, printed in the same press in Pune that prints R 1000 currency notes and contains similar
anti-counterfeit measures, said the Organising Committee (OC) while launching the Phase-II of ticket sales.

"These tickets have some visible as well as invisible security features," said Lalit Bhanot, OC secretary general.

Until now, the OC was only carrying out online booking through its website and issuing e-vouchers. The holders of the vouchers will have to get them replaced with real tickets at counters.

"The hologram and the bar code on the ticket are just two of the numerous visible security features. The bar codes will be read with scanners. So, faking them will be next to impossible," said Monica Jolly, director, Ticketing.

In Delhi and the NCR, tickets will be available at 30 retail outlets, along with the website.

So far the OC has generated Rs 10 crore in revenue from ticket sales.

Countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK and USA have registered maximum bookings from abroad.

While the sales have been less than estimated, organisers said they were expecting sales to pick up pace now that the physical tickets are here.

"We have to take a decision on corporate bulk bookings, which will boost sales. There are queries from several companies," said Bhanot.

Delhi Celebrates

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit launched her government's two-month-long Games-related cultural extravaganza called "Delhi Celebrates" by unveiling a theme song and a logo.

Composed and performed by Palash Sen, lead vocalist of band Euphoria, the song is titled Dilli meri jaan, Dilli meri shaan.

Free access

The OC has arranged for the crew of broadcasters who will be in India to cover the Games, to get free access to ASI-protected monuments so that they can show India's glory in their coverage. "The broadcasters will also get facilitation for visits to Agra and Jaipur, " said an OC official.

'CWG creating urban apartheid'

Over 3,00,000 people have been evicted and displaced from their homes due to projects related to the Commonwealth Games (CWG), a report by an NGO Hazard Centre has said. "Very few of them have been given alternative accommodations. Even after strict High Court directives, the Delhi government and
the MCD are not responding to any of our appeals about rehabilitation and alternate accommodation," said Jawahar Singh, president, Jhuggi Jhompri Ekta Manch.

Scores of people affected/displaced due to CWG-related projects would gather at Jantar Mantar on Thursday to protest displacement and demand proper compensation and rehabilitation from the authorities.

Slamming the Games for being completely pro rich, Hazards Centre said the only legacy the Games will leave behind is debt and inflation. "Real estate companies were first paid money by the Delhi Development Authority to build the Games Village and are now getting crores of Rupees by selling these flats. They are the only beneficiaries," said Dunu Roy, director, Hazards Centre.

The report states that a large number of countries that hosted mega sporting events in the past have suffered huge financial set backs.

"Beginning from 1968, virtually every city that had hosted such an event had plunged into debt for the next 25 to 30 years. The $16,600 million adventure of Athens in 2004 (Summer Olympics) is often linked by analysts to the current economic crisis in Greece."

Games effect: 75% Blueline buses to be off the road in South, Central Delhi

If you thought public transport would take care of your transportation needs during the Games, you are mistaken. Almost half of Delhi's buses will not be available to ordinary commuters during the Games. While the majority of the Blueline fleet will remain off road, one third of Delhi Transport Corporation's (DTC) buses will be busy on Commonwealth Games duty.

According to senior transport officials, Delhi is likely to have a little less than 9,000 buses — DTC and Blueline combined — before the Commonwealth Games kicks off in October this year.

However, almost 75 per cent of the Blueline buses, that connect south and central Delhi with the rest of the city, will remain off-road for almost 25 days.

"A decision was taken in this regard at a meeting of the transport minister, senior transport officials and Blueline operators. These buses will stop plying from the last week of September and would remain off road till October 16," a senior transport official said.

Initially, the government had decided to replace Blueline buses that run in south and Central Delhi with DTC buses.

Sources said the government later found this replacement plan difficult to implement and finally asked Blueline operators to take their buses off road for the duration of the Games.

An estimate says 1,824 Blueline buses, plying on 281 routes, would be taken off service. The government, however, is hopeful that DTC's own fleet will easily address the transportation need of Delhi.

But numbers speak otherwise. Of the 6,500-odd buses that DTC is likely to have in its fleet by the Games, 1,400 will cater to athletes, delegates and security personnel.

Another 1,200 buses will ply on special routes. Senior DTC officials said they would also keep about 10 per cent buses on stand-by for the convenience of athletes, delegates and volunteers. Effectively, only 3,500 DTC buses and 500 Blueline buses would run on 360-odd routes during the Games.

Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, however, said, "DTC never had so many buses in its fleet. The convenience of Delhi's public is our top priority."

Semenya ready to run in New Delhi

Caster Semenya, the women’s 800 metres world champion, has been named in South Africa’s Commonwealth Games squad.

Semenya has made just three competitive appearances since being cleared to race by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after a series of gender verification tests.

The 19-year-old has won each of her comeback races, although her best time – one minute 59.90 seconds at a World Challenge event in Berlin on Sunday – was still short of her 1:55.45 at the world championships on the same track last year.

“I’m very happy to see the return of Caster Semenya to duty for South Africa,” said Gideon Sam, president of the South African Olympic Committee.

The Commonwealth Games take place in New Delhi in October.

Projecting the ‘first Green Commonwealth Games'

Highlighting the preparations for the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi from October 3 and the sporting achievements of all-time great sportspersons in the country, the Commonwealth Games Express arrived to a rousing reception at Thiruvananthapuram Central on Wednesday.

The Commonwealth Games, a special exhibition on wheels, that chugged into platform one of the Central station from Madurai was received by Additional Divisional Railway Manager Ashok Kumar and Officer on Special Duty (Sports) K.M. Beenamol, who is the captain of the four-day Kerala leg tour, and railway officials. Rathan U. Kelkar, Director, Kerala State IT Mission, Mervin Alexander, CEO Technopark and Korath V. Mathew, Director, Akshaya, were also present.

It was the 63 {+r} {+d} day of the 101-day-long journey of the train and the Central station was the 30 {+t} {+h} stopover of the Commonwealth Games Express, a sports and ICT exposition on wheels jointly by the Union Ministry of Railways and the Department of Information Technology of Union Government.

The green coloured special exhibition train consists of 11 coaches out of which 5 coaches have been allocated to the Railway Sports Promotion Board to showcase the history of CWG, details of venues of the events to be held in October, to spread the general awareness of different sports and to give wide publicity to the sports icons who have brought laurels to the country.

The mascot of the Delhi Commonwealth Games, Shera, was the star attraction as people lined up to pose alongside the Royal Bengal Tiger and take photographs. A map depicting the route travelled by the Queens Baton traversing 71 cities before it reaches Delhi on October 3 and the logo story and the history behind ‘Shera' is detailed.

Incidentally, the CWG in Delhi is the first ‘Green CW Games'. The reasons listed out for this — it saves water, uses less energy and is non-polluting. The games village, that can accommodate 8,000 athletes, is made of green architecture. In addition, 3,500 CFL lamps, integrated waste management system and water recycling is used for make it a Green sporting event.

The exhibition also provides complete details of the venues, games, seating capacity of the venues, showcases Indian sportspersons, including medal winners of CWG 2006 and Asian Games. The scaled down models of the newly constructed sports stadiums in New Delhi and the preparations in the nation's capital for the games are included.

All information pertaining to 17 sports disciplines being played in the Commonwealth Games are included. Besides the description of each sport, equipments, history behind the game, interesting information and important facts are included. The “Lawn Balls' on display was among the exhibits.

The exhibition has a special section dedicated to the Railway Sports Promotion Board to showcase its history, activities as well as achievements at the national and international level.

The coaches from 6 to 11 tell about different facets of Information and Communication technology (ICT), each of them dealing with a particular facet. The first coach presents an overview of ICT, how it has impacted the life of common man. An interesting aspect in the sixth coach is the story of communication over the years — from smoke signals to SMS and e-mails.

The second coach displays the cohesion of efforts taken by the Department of Information Technology and several other organisations in the sphere of ICT, their contributions towards bringing ICT to the common man and efforts to build IT Superpower. National e-Governance Plan, a major initiative towards the concept of good governance, is the focal point.

The third coach is about the impact of ICT in social, health, education, agriculture and ecology while the fourth coach presents ICT from the perspective of industries. The fifth coach revolves around Common Service Centre, an initiative to provide a platform to the people to access various information and services as well as interface between the Government and citizens.

From Thiruvananthapuram central, the Commonwealth Express will move to Kollam (platform 4, August 27) and from there to Ernakulam Junction on August 28 (platform 1). From Ernakulam junction, the exhibition train will proceed to Mysore.

Queen's Baton Relay reaches Kanyakumari

The Queen's Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games reached the district on Wednesday.

The relay, which left London in 2009, had travelled across 71 countries covering 1,90,000 km before reaching Palkulam village in Agastheeswaram taluk of the district on Wednesday.

National-level sports personalities, Jeyaseelan, Latha and many other sports persons participated in the historic event.

The Queen's Baton was handed over to the Collector, Rajendra Ratnoo, in the presence of Tourism Minister N. Suresh Rajan.

The relay passed through Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation office, Coastal Road, Kamarajar Memorial and Vivekanandapuram in Kanyakumari.

The relay would leave Kanyakumari on Thursday and reach Kerala via Kottaram, Suchindrum, Kottar, Nagercoil, Collectorate, Parvathipuram, Thuckalay, Marthandam and Kaliyakkavilai.

A large number of students and public attended the programme in Kanyakumari.

Delhi gets song, logo ahead of Games

The Commonwealth Games  host city Wednesday got its own song and logo which according to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit marks the countdown for the mega event and showcases Delhi in an exciting manner.

Launching the logo ‘Delhi Celebrates’ and song ‘Delhi Meri Jaan, Delhi Meri Shaan’ at Delhi Secretariat, Dikshit hoped the people of the city would like it.

Singer Palash Sen and his band Euphoria performed to the song and Dikshit also danced along with them on stage.

The four minute song is a Euphoria creation and will be available to public through various media, including radio and mobile caller tunes. Dikshit said this is to reinforce the identification of the citizens with their city and to infuse pride, belongingness and enthusiasm among Delhiites.

Dikshit has also lent her voice to the song.

Principal Secretary of culture department, Rina Ray announced that a two month long ‘Delhi Celebrates’ cultural series will be organised in the city from Sep 3 to Nov 4 in a bid to generate a tempo for the successful organisation of the Oct 3-14 games.

‘Eminent personalities like Jagjit Singh, Javed Akhtar and Shankar Ehsaan Loy will be among a few taking part in the cultural activities,’ Ray said.

The logo and the guidelines on it will be available for downloading on Delhi Tourism’s official website from Sep 1.

‘The song was written ten years ago and talks about Delhi’s rich tradition and contemporary heritage,’ Palash Sen said.

Abhinav Bindra wants Commonwealth Games authorities shift focus to athletes

In an attempt to ignite public enthusiasm vis-à-vis 2010 Commonwealth Games, India's ace shooter, Abhinav Bindra, appealed to citizens and authorities to rally behind the mega event to make it a grand success.

Speaking at a press interaction here on Tuesday, Bindra said that the time had come for the authorities to shift their focus from infrastructural preparations to the needs and promotion of the athletes.

"The Games are about the athletes. They are the most important stakeholders and are central to everything that happens with the Games. From now on, they should be the focus of all your attention. Everything that has been done, it is for them to participate and for them to come up with truly breathtaking performances," said Bindra.

"We are at the cusp of an historical moment in Indian sport and we have just 40 days to go. It is time for all of us to come together and ensure that we deliver great Games. I would like to appeal to the people of India and citizens of Delhi to rally behind the games," he added.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games, which kicks off on October 3 is India's biggest sporting event since the 1982 Asian Games.

India is expecting about two million tourists in New Delhi for the Games, as well as about 10,000 athletes from 71 teams representing 54 Commonwealth member states.

36 Indian shooters will be targetting 120 CWG medals

After winning 27 medals at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, this time 36 Indian shooters will be eyeing the 120 medals at stake in different shooting events at the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.

Shooters have emerged as India’s biggest medal hopes at the Commonwealth Games after they won a lion’s share of India’s medal’s tally of 50 in Melbourne. Out of 50 medals, Indian shooters won 16 gold, 7 silver and four bronze medals.

This time 495 Indian sports persons will be eyeing 829 medals in the 17 disciplines. The number of Indian sportsperson participating here is much more than in Melbourne, where 183 Indian athletes took part.

The largest contingent will be from athletics with 146 athletes, followed by aquatics, where 68 athletes will be taking part in different events.

Shooting will have the third largest at 36 while the men’s and the women’s hockey team will have 16 players each.

Initially, 1,140 sportspersons from 17 disciplines were selected as core probables and then the list was pruned to 838, who are now training at different venues.

The government has spent Rs.6.78 billion to train the athletes for the Commonwealth Games and have employed 157 Indian Coaches, 23 foreign experts and 78 support staffs in various disciplines.

A total of 176 camps have been conducted till date and 150 foreign trips have also been arranged for players in different disciplines since August, 2008.

Disciplines Sportspsrsons Medals at stake

Aquatics 68 150

Archery 12 24

Athletics 142 126

Badminton 10 15

Boxing 10 40

Cycling 27 48

Gymnastics 13 60

Hockey(Mens) 16 3

Hockey(Womens) 16 3

Lawn Bowls 12 18

Netball (Women) 12 3

Rugby7 12 3

Shooting 36 120

Squash 10 15

Table Tennis 10 21

Tennis 8 15

Weightlifting 15 45

Wrestling 21 84

Para Sports

Aquatics 18 18

Athletics 18 9

Table Tennis 3 3

Powerlifting 6 6

Total 495 829

Govt bodies find slippages in CWG-related projects

Both Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) have in their reports have found deficiencies and slippages in various Commonwealth Games-related projects.

"The Chief Technical Examiner's Unit of the Central Vigilance Commission, as its routine work, had undertaken intensive examination of works related to Commonwealth Games.

"The Commission in its inquiry found that works were awarded at higher rates and the quality of the works was also not up to the mark," Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Prithviraj Chavan told Lok Sabha today in a written reply to a question.

"Further, ineligible agencies were also awarded the works. The Commission has advised the organisations concerned to take corrective steps in the works inspected," he said.

"The Comptroller and Auditor General of India conducted review of preparedness for XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 in order to gain an understanding of the progress of projects and preparedness of different agencies for organising the games and to identify significant risks that needed to be addressed.

"It was observed that there had been slippages in the time schedules of some of the construction work and deficiencies had also been observed in some of the works," the Minister said.

He said the Ministries concerned, the Delhi government and the organising Committee were directed to complete all pending works expeditiously through time-bound action plans and carry out a quality audit of the completed facilities.

"The concerned Ministries were also directed to conduct thorough investigations into all the complaints that have been received of procedural and other irregularities. Those found guilty should face severe and exemplary punishment," Chavan said.

In reply to another question on providing protection to whistleblowers for exposing corruption, he said "the government is ready with the Public Interest Disclosure Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill, 2010, for introduction in Parliament..."

The Bill provides adequate protection to the persons reporting corruption or willful misuse of power or discretion which causes demonstrable loss to the government or commission of a criminal offence by a public servant, he said.

Semenya heading to Commonwealth Games in India

Caster Semenya will return to major competition at the Commonwealth Games in India after she was included in South Africa's team on Wednesday.

The country's Olympic committee, SASCOC, selected the 800-meter world champion as one of 32 athletes, swimmers, cyclists and rugby sevens players added to South Africa's initial 115-strong team for the Oct. 3-14 games in Delhi, which was announced last month.

"I'm very happy to see the return of Caster Semenya to duty for South Africa," SASCOC president Gideon Sam said. "We have observed her progress closely since the IAAF cleared her to run and it's good to hear her say that she's focusing all her efforts on the Commonwealths."

Semenya has won all three of her comeback races since she was cleared to run by world athletics body, the IAAF, following an 11-month break because of a gender dispute.

She beat a strong field at the ISTAF meet on her return to Berlin on Sunday to continue her winning return to the sport. It was the first time the teenage athlete had run under 2 minutes since her return.

"The fact that she's unbeaten in her three races thus far and has improved her time on each occasion is good news for our medal effort in New Delhi," Sam said.

Semenya will run later this week at the Diamond League final in Brussels and at two meets in Italy as she continues her preparations for the Commonwealth Games.

Army to take over CWG security in Sept

Over 1,000 personnel from specialised units of the Army are likely to be roped in for specific security-related duties during the upcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi . Official sources said the Army personnel are scheduled to be deployed by September 15, a little more than a fortnight ahead of the start of the sporting extravaganza on October 3.

The personnel would provide technical assistance related to intra-force communication, maintenance of jammers, decrypting suspecting signals besides providing other logistic support, they said.

Sources said Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) teams of the Army will also be deployed during the Games. They said a solution is understood to have been finalised between the Urban and Defence Ministries related to free stay of Army men in the national capital following which special arrangements has been made near Palam from September 15 to October 20 for them.

Earlier this month, the Urban Development Ministry has sought help from Defence Minister A K Antony to ensure that Army does not charge the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee for certain facilities provided by it during the mega event.

The sporting extravaganza is scheduled between October 3-14. Sources said that Army personnel would liaison and help in maintaining security of different vital installations including top hotels and Games village, where foreign delegates and participants would be staying. They said personnel have been earmarked for withdrawing them from various units and preparations are underway to send them here.

Over 70 countries are likely to participate in the sporting event. The Delhi police and central security agencies are striving hard to ensure fool-proof security for the event, which is being hosted by the country for the first time. About 175 companies(17,500 personnel) of Central paramilitary forces, 3,000 commandos, 100 anti sabotage teams, 200 dogs and 15 bomb disposal squads will be put in security for the games.

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