A. Vinod

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Government, on behalf of the National Games Organising Committee, will approach the Indian Olympic Association to clarify whether there is a possibility of postponing the 35th National Games. As it is, the State is to host the prestigious event from May 1 to 14 next year.

Confirming the decision to approach the IOA to The Hindu on Tuesday, the KSSC president and general convenor of the NGOC, T.P. Dasan said the issue was discussed at the executive committee meeting of the National Games Secretariat (NGS) on Monday evening. However, he was quick to dismiss that Kerala was seeking postponement of the Games and thus trying to buy more time for its preparations to host the 35th edition of the event.

“As per our assessment the 34th National Games to be hosted by Jharkhand is likely to be postponed once again. These Games are now scheduled to be held from November 21 to December 5, but now that the Union Government has spelt out its plans to approach the Election Commission for elections to the Assembly of that State sometime in October, we feel even these dates would not be suitable for the conduct of the National Games, particularly in the context of both administrative and security reasons. This would mean that the Games would be held only after a couple of months after the elections are held in Jharkhand.”

“In the event these Games are postponed, it is difficult to visualise as of now of having two editions of the National Games within a span of four or five months. It is due to this that we have decided to check with the IOA on the dates that Kerala should be ready to host the 35th National Games,” Mr. Dasan said.

The KSSC president said the Sports Minister, M. Vijayakumar, would be speaking with the IOA president, Suresh Kalmadi on the issue. If the IOA president agreed with Kerala’s assessment of the current situation, the Minister would also be presenting alternate dates in either December or January 2011 for the conduct of the Games as the Government was inclined to host the event during its tenure itself and much before the 2011 May elections to the State Assembly.

The meeting also confirmed global major Pricewaterhouse Coopers as the transaction advisor to the NGS in matters dealing with construction of the Games village and the four Greenfield stadiums to be built on annuity basis. Further, the NGS was also given permission to approach the Government for administrative sanction in connection with the renovation works of 12 stadiums across the State. The renovation works, are to cost the State exchequer Rs. 50.57 crore.

Besides, it was also decided to appoint the former Director-General of NSNIS, Dr. C.M. Muthiah as the sports advisor to the NGS. The logo, mascot and the slogan for the Games, selected from entries received from the public through an open competition, will also be submitted to the IOA shortly for its approval.

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