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India 'nervous' over Games
Officials admit to butterflies after preparations for Commonwealth Games hit by delays.
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2009 12:45 GMT

Dikshit (2nd R) watches the Doha Asian Games torch relay in New Delhi in 2006 [GALLO/GETTY]
Nerves are setting in over India's hosting of the Commonwealth Games – with New Delhi's chief minister admitting unease over the preparations.

Serious concerns have been raised over the games in October next year after Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Mike Fennell wrote to organisers.

The Jamaican official has asked for a meeting with Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to directly seek his help, when the CGF general assembly meets in New Delhi from October 6-13 this year.

Spotlight

"We are satisfied, but we are also nervous," chief minister Sheila Dikshit said on Monday, a day after slow progress of various Games-related work was again thrust into the spotlight by the CGF chief.

Fennell has cited a CGF Coordination Committee report warning over India, which has not held a major event since the 1982 Asian Games, refusing to rope in enough foreign experts.

"There are a lot of things to be done," said Dikshit.

"We're looking at transport carefully, planning alternatives. We've new projects but it is possible some of them may not be finished in time.

"Our ministers are looking into it. We will not allow, from our side, the Commonwealth Games to suffer.

"Everyone has the right to criticise, but for us also these games are a matter of great pride."

Pace

The chief minister said Fennell had expressed satisfaction with the pace of work a month ago and had only sought assurances in power supply in a meeting with her.

Indian media recently published a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), an autonomous watchdog, raising concerns over various projects but Dikshit said the inputs were six to eight months old.

"Work is going on everyday," she said.

"We cannot be ready one year ahead. We neither promised that nor can we do that."

Delayed construction has forced many international events, planned as test competitions, to be shifted out of New Delhi while the state and federal authorities are also racing against time to finish various projects to spruce up the capital.

Source:
Agencies
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