Editorial

Editorial: Our Readiness for Commonwealth Games

It’s officially assured, eventually, that Delhi – people, perhaps, wouldn’t agree that the government believed the axiom ‘slow and steady wins the race’ – will be ready for hosting 2010 Commonwealth Games in time, Commonwealth Games Federation chief Mike Fennell’s terming reports of Delh’s tardy preparation as ‘not quite accurate’ may be a great confidence booster to many, for he himself has been quite critical of preparation in the past. Half finished stadiums, no traffic management measure, inadequate accommodation arrangements have filled the Indian sports debate for months, almost convincing a majority that India won’t be able to host the mega sport event.

So, did Fennell see something concrete to come out with a statement contradicting his own earlier one or that of many others? He, while showing his satisfaction, notes that things will improve with government’s backing, that is to say, necessary sources required to conduct the event will be provided by the government. Well, though there might have been widespread doubt on whether stadiums will be ready in time and sources managed for holding of games, it wasn’t the main concern. Though late, Indians are in a habit of finally achieving things. The main concerns have been about traffic and accommodation.

In recent visit of inspectors last week who assessed preparations, the traffic has to be diverted for transporting them smoothly to various sites. Delhi police, probably, still doesn’t have a plan to control traffic. Sadly, people, both Delhites and those belonging to rest of the country, as a solution, have been expected to stay out of Delhi roads, even Delhi, for a period of one month during the games.

In recent visit of inspectors last week who assessed preparations, the traffic has to be diverted for transporting them smoothly to various sites. Delhi police, probably, still doesn’t have a plan – which should be there even if proposed flyovers are constructed in time – to control traffic. Sadly, people, both Delhites and those belonging to rest of the country, as a solution, have been expected to stay out of Delhi roads, even Delhi, for a period of one month during the games. No other alternative has been found except this, countrymen out to let around more than a lakh foreigners enjoy the sports. And it is where Home Minister P Chidambaram’s statement that Delhites should learn to behave fits exactly. They spit on roads, take up fight in public, hurl abuses and so on? Interestingly, Delhi police claim to have a plan to control traffic. It should implement it from now on to really put to a halt anyone’s complaints, criticism and concern.

Same is true of accommodation. According to an estimate, at least 30, 000 hotel suites will be required for the purpose only to house international guests. Ironically, government plans to construct only 10, 000 suites (construction of which will be completed in time or not is doubtful). Sports Ministry or Delhi government has not told people how it will arrange remaining accommodation for visitors, not do they seem to be doing anything on this count. Few thinkers have recommended going for installing make-shift accommodations, that too, outside the city, for those who would like cheap lodging. Suggestion is excellent, though it has not yet been taken in implementing spirits.

Yes, there’re complaints, we, being Indians, still hope that things will be prepared meeting the deadline. If Fennel can believe our government and us, we can, too.

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