New Delhi: After several missed deadlines, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main venue for the Commonwealth Games, was finally inaugurated by Sports Minister M S Gill and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
The remodelled 60,000 capacity stadium, built at a cost of Rs 960 crore, got delayed umpteen times because of the construction of an underground tunnel for the opening ceremony of the October 3-14 event.
The stadium will host the Games` opening and closing ceremonies and athletics, weightlifting and Lawn tennis events.
Also present on the occasion were Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, Sports Authority of India Director General Sayan Chatterjee and several sportspersons and senior officials of the Sports Ministry.
"This is an auspicious day for us. Even the monsoon is obliging us. All the stadiums now stand completed except the weightlifting one which will be inaugurated in 2-3 days time. By August 1, we will hand over all the stadiums to the Organising Committee," Gill said.
"It`s the first time in India that such a complex has been built. It`s a job well done under pressure. The roof`s design is very complex and designers made no mistakes in coming out with a flawless design. I want to say to everyone that we are ready for the Games," Gill said.
Kalmadi said through the Commonwealth Games, the whole world will see the potential India has got in terms of infrastructure.
"I again want to repeat that all the stadiums are world class. JLN stadium is an engineering marvel and nobody can deny that. Commonwealth Coordination Commission which held his meeting here two months ago had said that we won`t be coming to India again as everything in place and we are a satisfied lot," Kalmadi said.
"We overcame each and every situation that came our way during the construction of this infrastructure and I assure you that we will conduct the best Games ever," Kalmadi added.