New Delhi: The Commonwealth Games got off to
a scintillating opening three days ago but a tight security apparatus, far-away venues and several ticketing issues are still keeping spectators away from the mega sporting event.
While empty stadiums are giving sleepless nights to Games
organisers, spectators complain that procuring a ticket itself
is a big problem and once they get one, reaching the venues
offers more challenges.
The Organising Committee has set up ticket booths outside
venues after the intervention of the Games Federation which
was clearly unhappy with the poor attendance at the stadiums.
Spectators complain that reaching the venues were a big
problem due to traffic restrictions.
"One has to walk a long distance in sun, may be three
kilometres or more, to reach the venues. You have to park your
vehicle some five-seven kilometres away. It is hell reaching a
stadium," said Sushil Das, who went to Yamuna Sports Complex.
Another concern of the spectators was the "unnecessary"
"It was very hard for me to convince the policemen at the
access point that I will not harm anyone with my car keys.
They kept saying they cannot allow me inside with car keys.
This is ridiculous," said Ranjan Saxena, who visited the
Indira Gandhi stadium.
A senior Organising Committee official said security
apparatus apparently was turning away spectators from the
People also complained about long queues at ticket
counters and the time taken for giving tickets.
"It is not rocket science. One should get a ticket in
minutes after the payment is done. Here one has to wait for
more than 15 minutes sometimes," Anjana Shukla, who went to
Indira Gandhi stadium, said.
Another problem was the "high-priced" food at the venues.
"We are not allowed to take food. The prices are very high at
the venues. Who can afford this?" asked Dipak Gupta, a
However, spectators were more livid at the security
arrangements for the event. "Police comes up with new
instructions everyday. I have to part with coins when it is
not in the list of prohibited items," said a spectator.
In one case, wife of noted writer William Dalrymple
claimed that she lost all "barred items" which was kept by
police personnel at the R K Khanna Stadium where she had gone
to watch tennis match. Delhi Police however said they have not
received any such complaints.