Chandy reiterates the need to keep the December-31 deadline for completing National Games stadia work.
A joint meeting of the executive committees of the National Games Organising Committee (NGOC) and the National Games Secretariat (NGS) on Tuesday expectedly decided to adopt a wait-and-watch approach with regard to the dates of the 35th National Games in the context of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) remaining suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Briefed on the challenges in fixing exact dates for the conduct of the Games, the meeting took stock of the new directives issued by the IOC to the IOA prior to deciding to await instructions from the IOA and until its suspension was revoked by the International body.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who presided over the meeting, however, reiterated the need to keep the December 31 deadline for the completion of all works relating to the construction of the various stadia in the State. The NGS will also go ahead with the preliminary construction of the National Games Village in the outskirts of the capital though it will be taking up works relating to electrifying and furnishing the pre-fabricated dwelling units only after the dates of the Games are finalised.
To seek more time
In this context, it was also decided to seek four months’ time from the IOA for completing works relating to temporary overlays while jointly deciding upon the dates of the Games.
Though a timeframe of September 30 this year was suggested as a possible deadline from the IOA to go ahead with the conduct of the Games during February-March next year as was decided earlier, the majority at the meeting was of the opinion the IOA-IOC imbroglio would be over only during the second week of December and thus it would be impossible to host the Games in the earlier decided dates.
Against this background, it was also decided by the meeting to keep all National Sports Federations individually informed about the various preparatory works undertaken by the NGOC and NGS for the conduct of the Games from time to time.
Besides, the right to purchase of sporting equipment, for which tendering process is expected to get under way later this week, will be vested with the NGOC subject to the relevant government rules in this regard. This was decided upon to curb monopoly in the name of certification issued by the International Sports Federations concerned, drain of money from the State exchequer and possible litigation at a later date.
Now that the IOC has set October 30 as the new time limit for the IOA to bring about changes in its constitution and December 15 for the conduct of fresh elections, it does seem that the National Games will happen only during the fag end of 2014 as in the interim the country itself will be locked in with the conduct of the general elections during April-May and the sporting community involved with the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games between June and October 2014.