Seeking to allay apprehensions over security of next year’s Commonwealth Games, India on Thursday told the international community that foolproof measures would be put in place to ensure that terrorists do not succeed in disrupting the mega sporting event.
At a meeting with security experts of 26 of 71 participating nations here, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai detailed the measures the government is taking to provide protection to venues and players.
He told reporters that as of now there was no specific terror threat and all venues and games villages will be sealed seven to 14 days ahead of the commencement of the tournament in October 2010.
“On behalf of the organising committee and the Sports Ministry and everybody in the Government of India, we want to tell everyone that we are totally committed to a secure and safe Commonwealth Games,” he said after a two-day meeting of security liaison officers of Commonwealth countries and members of Commonwealth Games Associations.
The Home Secretary said special security arrangements will be made for the 30 Heads of States and other dignitaries expected to attend the fortnight-long extravaganza.
“Before the Commonwealth Games, we need to have five more meetings of International security lapse and liaison group. By that time the venues would be available and conditions planned and the drills would have done. And if there are any more arrangements which need to be fine-tuned, we would be able to do that,” he said.
The Home Secretary said the dignitaries were given assurance that all arrangements will be made for emergency healthcare, evacuation and security for the athletes and officials and when they visit historical and tourist sites.
“They also wanted to know about health facilities, ambulance, emergency and evacuations plans. We discussed in details during the presentations and they appeared to be pleased on that,” he said.
The Home Secretary said copies of the presentation would be sent to all commonwealth countries next week and a complete presentation would be given to media on security and traffic.
“These will be tentative since it is still a year away but it is the same presentation which we have made to security liaison group,” he said.
Asked whether any representative of Pakistan attended the two-day conference, Mr. Pillai said though they did not but the government hoped they would participate in future meetings and the games in full strength.
Delhi Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal said the basic mission of his force was not only to keep games safe but also the city safe.
Altogether 30,000 volunteers would help the organisers for successful completion of the fortnight-long extravaganza.
Allaying apprehensions, Sports Secretary Sindhushree Khullar said all venues, games villages and connecting roads would be ready well before the time.
Former Delhi Chief Secretary R. Narayanswamy said the necessary infrastructure like flyovers and roads would be ready in next few months.