Opening ceremony on schedule even if it rains: Bhanot

Last Updated: Sep 14, 2010, 00:05 AM IST

New Delhi: With incessant rains showing no
signs of relenting, the Commonwealth Games Organising
Committee today tried to put up a brave face and said even if
it downpours on October 3 the opening ceremony of the
megaevent will not be "rescheduled".

The OC said that opening ceremony of other Games like
2008 Beijing Olympics and 2006 Doha Asian Games had also
witnessed rainfall but events went on as per the schedule.

"The opening ceremony will take place as per the schedule
even if it rains. We are ready to face the situation but there
is no question of rescheduling it. We are all set for the
opening ceremony of CWG. It will go as per the scheduled
programme and there will be no change in it," CWG secretary
general Lalit Bhanot said during media`s visit to the
Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, the main venue for the Delhi Games.

"Rainfall had occurred during the opening ceremony of
Asian Games at Doha in 2006, Seoul Olympics in 1988 and even
in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. There is no question of
postponement. Everything is in place and we will have best
Games ever," he reiterated.

Around 60,000 spectators are expected to witness the
opening ceremony of the October 3-14 megaevent scheduled to
start at 7:30 pm at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.

On the preparedness of the stadium, which will host the
track and field events, weightlifting and lawn bowls
competition apart from the opening and closing ceremonies,
Bhanot said the venue is match ready and all the overlay work
has been completed.

"JLN stadium is ready to host the opening ceremony and
the sports scheduled there. The first of its kind Aerostat
Hellium balloon has been in place for the opening ceremony
which has never been projected at any of the sporting event
anywhere in the world.”

"There is a large video screen which will move at 360
degree angle. Whenever there is a big event, you need to spend
a lot of money. The Games is associated with the image of
India as three billion people worldwide would be watching the
event," he said.

Reacting to reports that some damage has been done to the
synthetic turf of the JLN stadium because of the continuous
rains, Bhanot said, "World champions are taking part in the
athletic event and there has been no single damage to the
turf."

"We have already tested it and everything is ready."
Organising Committee vice-chairman Randhir Singh also
brushed aside concerns about leaking roofs and waterlogging at
any of the stadiums and declared all competition venues ready
for the Games.

"We are busy in giving last minutes finishing touches to
our preparations. Rain as both positively and negatively
affected us but we are not at all worried. JLN stadium and all
other stadiums are world class and we are well planned and
well placed at this point of time," he said.

PTI