The Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, M.S. Gill, has assured the National and international media that while security was a high priority, it would not cause inconvenience to the spectators and their access to the stadia during the Commonwealth Games (CWG).

Gill was interacting with journalists at a lunch he hosted on Friday. Dwelling on the role of his ministry in the development of sports in the country as also the progress made in shaping the infrastructure for the CWG, the Sports Minister reiterated that everything was falling in place since he took over in April 2008.

He spoke of the functional situation in shooting, hockey, archery and boxing complexes, and the appreciation they have drawn from international sportsmen and officials. He was particularly enchanted by the ambience of the Tuglakabad Range, describing it as “the best in the world.”

A message

The Union Minister underlined the fact that hosting the hockey World Cup successfully, notwithstanding certain uncertainties, was a message to the international community of India's competence in organising mega sporting events.

While expressing happiness over India's showing against Pakistan in the opening tie in the World Cup, Gill congratulated the teams for exhibiting the spirit of sportsmanship and how the tie transported many to a mood of nostalgia.

He urged the Indian players to avoid irritation and show discipline in their work.

Discussions with Negre

Gill also touched on the discussions he has been having with the FIH boss, Leandro Negre, on the subject of Hockey India elections and the FIH plans to bring more tournaments to India. He has urged the FIH chief to provide greater opportunity for Asian officials to serve in the management of referrals and other technical areas.

On Hockey India elections, he asserted that they should be “fair and free with a clean electoral roll,” with an independent observer supervising secret voting.

The Sports Minister also revealed that the Group of Ministers in the Government were closely monitoring the development schemes as well as the financial inputs sanctioned and spent. He was confident that the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium would be ready by June.

Gill observed that his ministry had stayed focussed in preparing the teams not only for the Commonwealth Games but also for the next Asian Games and the 2012 Olympics.

The budget is Rs. 678 crore and it might be enhanced.

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