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CoCom still concerned about venue delays

New Delhi: In their final visit to the
country before the Commonwealth Games, the CGF Coordination
Commission today expressed concern at the delay in the
completion of two key venues and athletes` village which, it
said, posed "substantial" challenge to the event.

Addressing a press conference at the end of four-day
visit to the country, CoCom chairman Austin Sealy said
"remarkable" progress has been made since their last sojourn
in December but lot of works still remained to be done.

"The main concern is the delay in the delivery of major
sports venues, particularly JLN Stadium, Talkatora Swimming
Complex as well as Games Village, which will be opened on
September 16. These delays have a knock-on effect and hamper
the Organising Committee`s planning and implementation for
final preparations," he said.

"We are confident that the test events at these venues
will be held in time. There has been rapid progress since our
last visit in December but lots of work still remain to be
done. We urge the OC for an increased acceleration in all
areas which pose a substantial time and delivery challenge for
the Games," he added.

Asked what are the improvements the CoCom can identify
since last December, Sealy merely said that the OC has the
capacity to complete the task at hand in time.

"What we have attempted was to ensure that the OC does
not lose sight of the slippages whatever the reasons may be.
But we are satisfied that they have the capacity to deliver.
We are confident that they would complete every aspect of the
Games in time," Sealy, also the Commonwealth Games Federation
Treasurer, said.

"In December 2009, 70 critical issues were identified by
the Coordination Commission and as on May 5, 2010, this has
been reduced to 38," he said.

Sealy said that the CoCom was satisfied with the security
arrangements by the Indian government and the message to all
participating countries was that there was no need to worry in
this regard.

"Security is always a challenge. We cannot lose sight of
it till the end of the Games. CoCom is satisfied with the
security arrangements by government of India and police
authorities. CGF continues to work closely with the OC, Delhi
Police and the Governments of India and Delhi to monitor all
Games security arrangements.

"My message to all the countries is that the security
arrangements are upto the mark and they need not fear. All the
necessary security arrangements have been made and the Indian
authorities have not left any stone unturned in this regard,"
said the official from Barbados. CGF Chief Executive Mike Hooper said the CoCom wants no
further slippage in the completion of Games venues.

"We have never made secret of our unhappiness at the
delay in completion of venues. But now SAI and the government
said the two venues and the Games Village will be completed in
time. The JLN Stadium will be completed by June 30. We hope
there should not be any more slippages," said Hooper.

Asked whether the CGF was satisfied with the conduct of
the test events, Hooper said, "We have had eight test events
and some more to go. Our feedback has been that it has been
progressive from the World Cup Hockey to Asian Badminton
Championships. Some more test events are being lined up and
these will be the real tests of the preparedness of the
Games."

Sealy accepted OC Chairman Suresh Kalmadi`s suggestion to
CoCom members to visit as individual members till the
inauguration of the Games though they would no more come here
as a group.

Kalmadi thanked the OC for their advice and said the
country would deliver the best Games ever.

"We are thankful to the CoCom for their advice in all
aspects of the Games. What they said has meant a lot to us. We
are on course to deliver the best Games ever," he said.

Earlier, the CoCom received detailed presentations from
the OC and its delivery partners. It also received reports
from the various venue construction agencies on the progress
of competition venues, the athletes` village and other Games`
infrastructure projects and undertook site visits to the main
venues.

PTI

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