By Tarun Kothari:
3 months hence and India would be hosting its largest ever held multi-sporting event, the Commonwealth games. With spectacular organisation of FIFA World Cup and Olympics by emerging economies like South Africa and China, anything but a fabulous Commonwealth 2010 will only bring India an embarrassment. India hopes that by hosting athletes from the 71 countries of the Commonwealth, the former British Empire, it can boost its global image and become a contender for the Olympics. Now, with the October 3rd start date approaching, many are wondering if we can stand by it. The 2010 commonwealth games would see tourists across the globe in attendance with an expected 2 million foreign and 3.5 million domestic tourists.
Is India ready?
- The deadline for handling of major venue stadiums has been postponed for over three times and even the last deadline of June 30th has slipped by. Three major facilities — the swimming complex, the main stadium, and the athletes’ village — are yet to be ready for the Games officials to move in. “It would have been nice to have had access to the venues earlier and we made no secret of that,” Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper said.
- With just 3 months to go before the Games, the Organising Committee is now getting its volunteers trained as the D-Day approaches. Volunteers for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006, had begun their training almost a year in advance.
- Monsoon rains have begun to hit Delhi causing major problems for organisers as they are already racing against time to be ready to host the event.
- Mail Today has found that most of the stretches are lying dug up and unfinished masonry is littered all over in the name of streetscaping. The entrails of several of capitals sidewalks, particularly those around the location of Commonwealth locations are ripped off. The fact is that just around 50% work has been finished on almost all roads in contrast to 90% claimed by civic agencies. At an inspection, unsatisfied urban Development Minister Walia said, “”I am dissatisfied with the progress of upgradation of roads leading to the Village and have instructed officials to accelerate”.
- Following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and the planting of two low intensity bombs during IPL outside Bangalore cricket stadium, some athletes and their representative bodies have raised security fears.Â UK and Canada warned about potential attacks on commercial targets in Delhi ahead of the games.Â No doubt Commonwealth Games would be a big attraction and would be on target by various terrorist groups. Is India equipped enough to handle it?
- Campaigners in India have accused the organisers of enormous and systematic violations ofÂ labour laws atÂ construction sites. Over 70 workers deaths have been reported because of accidents at construction sites. Also the workers are paid lower than minimum Delhi wage standards for working 8 hours. This is in violation of fundamental right to minimum wage.
Right now everything is dug up; let’s hope that by the end of July a beautiful city emerges.