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We hope it’ll be a memorable fortnight: SAG OC CEO

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Just a couple of days now remain for the much delayed 12th South Asian Games to commence. And having led a small team from the front through the last 90 days or so, the organising committee CEO, Injeti Srinivas, on Wednesday claimed that the country was fully geared up to host the event.

Talking to The Hindu at length about the arduous journey through the last three months despite a hectic schedule, Srinivas, who also is the Director General of the Sports Authority of India, said the event could not have come at more opportune moment, and expressed hope that its successful conduct would open a new chapter in the relations between countries of the region.

“We’ve had such a small time-frame to work with, but still it gives me immense satisfaction to when I look back. Of course, our work will not be completed until all the competitions are over and each participant has returned home. I am sure there will be problems aplenty cropping up through the next fortnight but as of now I have no hesitation to say that we are completely ready to host a unique Games,” he said.

“These Games will be unique in more ways than one. Firstly, this is for the first time it will be held in two cities. Secondly, we have been able to ensure a fair amount of gender equality than in the past, as Guwahati and Shillong put together will have more women participating in the Games. And then, last but not least, the conduct of the Games in this region of the country should mean that the North East is now part of the Indian mainstream.”

Srinivas said that efforts were on to complete the conduct of the Games well within the budgeted estimate of Rs.93 crore, of which Rs.83 crore has been released as grant by the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.

“The rest of the amount has been raised through sponsorships from major PSUs. But, overall, when you add up the figures of Rs.36 crore allotted to the Assam Government and Rs.7 crore to the Meghalaya Government for sprucing up the stadia to be used for the competitions, and the amounts spent by the National Highways Authority of India for resurfacing the roads, the total is in the region of Rs.200 crore,” he said.

“The most difficult hurdle has been to keep the various stake-holders together as a flock. But, here again, I think we have fairly been successful in our efforts. Normally, it should have been the Indian Olympic Association playing the host, but it was at the request of the IOA that a separate organising committee was formed to host the event in two cities.

“The IOA, however, will be in charge with the conduct of the Games through the various National Sports Federations affiliated to it, though we will also have a small part in it.

This is because the various functional areas come under us and there has to be coordination with all the stake-holders.

“Hopefully, we will have a memorable fortnight ahead of us and the Games will be remembered for long,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 10:05:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/we-hope-itll-be-a-memorable-fortnight-sag-oc-ceo/article8189694.ece

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