The construction of the stadia remains a major concern area, says Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, anxious about the Commonwealth Games next year.
“I only keep praying that we won’t let the country down,” Ms. Dikshit said in an interview. “We will do everything possible to see that the country is not let down.”
Identifying construction of the stadia as a major area of concern, she said they are “most critical” for successful hosting of the event.
“Stadia must to be right. Because you may have a road which may not look pretty, or a light in the street which may not be working but stadia are most critical,” she said.
Asked about criticism over the delay in various projects and readiness of the city to host the event, she said, “of course it is (ready to host the event). No city in the world will be ready till a year before. We will be ready. We have got eight months to go. Actually nine months to go but I said eight months. And you can see work going on all over Delhi.”
Expressing “regret” over the delays in construction of venues for the event, Commonwealth Games Federation President Michael Fennell on Saturday warned organisers that further delays in the construction of stadia would seriously impact on the conduct of test events.
The Chief Minister said there are still areas of concern and everybody was working hard to complete the projects.
“There will be areas of concern, but everybody is trying, everybody is on board, funds are there. So we just need to see that it is implemented,” she said.
Unhappy over the absence of a single command looking over the Games preparation, Ms. Dikshit said absence of a single line of authority to oversee the projects was responsible for delay in work linked to the Games.
“That’s true. That’s very true. There is no single line of authority,” she said. However, now Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has created a Group of Ministers which meets almost every week to oversee the preparations, she added.
However, on the question that who was responsible for the delay in preparation, the Chief Minister said she cannot accuse any single authority or the ministry of it.
“This is collective effort. When the Games contract was signed six years ago, that point of time it was with the concurrence of the Central Government. So you cannot say that the whole thing or the onus rests on any single authority,” she said.
Delhi Government has undertaken massive infrastructure development projects worth thousands of crores of rupees as part of its preparations for the mega sporting event.