The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OCCG) officials came together on one stage on Wednesday to announce that the 2010 Games would be held here as scheduled, despite apprehensions expressed by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
“We will hold the best Games ever,” said OCCG Chairman Suresh Kalmadi. “I want to reassure the people that the Games will be held as scheduled. Nobody should have doubts on that,” said Mr. Kalmadi.
Vice Chairman of OCCG Randhir Singh also expressed a similar opinion but said the Organising Committee needed to decentralise with sub-committees being given more powers to function.
There have been differences of opinion between Mr. Kalmadi and Mr. Singh in recent times, but both presented a picture of unity on Wednesday. “We are all together,” said Mr. Kalmadi.
Regarding the critical comments made by CGF President Michael Fennell, Mr. Kalmadi said, “we respect his views.”
Mr. Singh, however, termed Mr. Fennell's assessment in a confidential communication as a wake-up call for the Organising Committee. “
The criticism from the CGF is very well accepted,” he said.Asked whether the CGF chairman seeking a meeting with the Prime Minister amounted to a lack of trust in the Organising Committee, Mr. Kalmadi said: “I don't think so.”
Officials allayed apprehensions about stadia not being completed on time. “There are no slippages at all. Every stadium is as per schedule. None of the test events have been postponed,” said OCCG Secretary-General Lalit K. Bhanot.
Mr. Bhanot said that it would be unwise to procure equipment for the Games so early since storage would then become a problem. Everything would be in place a few months before the Games, he said.
Mr. Kalmadi said that just as the 1982 Asian Games brought in colour television to the country, these Games would mark the advent of high definition television in India.Security, an issue that was of serious concern to the foreign delegates, would be foolproof, Mr. Kalmadi said.
Delhi Lt. Governor Tejendra Khanna was monitoring the security arrangements.The heads of missions of CGF member countries were briefed by the Home Secretary earlier this month and there would be a full-fledged meeting of security commanders here on September 23 and 24, when further details regarding security arrangements would be discussed.
Mr. Kalmadi said an Australian security agency was visiting Delhi once every two months to have discussions. He added that the ultimate responsibility for security lay with the Union Home Ministry.