New Delhi: Security is the prime concern ahead of 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi due to the tense situation in the region, organisers said on Wednesday.
“We have to satisfy the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on the security aspect and I am confident we can do that,” organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi told local media.
“Security is a very important aspect of the Games and we need to have more communication with the CGF on that.”
Security concerns in South Asia have grown after 166 people were killed in militant attacks in Mumbai last November, and gunmen ambushed the bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan in March.
Seven Sri Lankan cricketers were injured in the incident, forcing the International Cricket Council to abandon plans to hold a part of the 2011 World Cup in Pakistan.
The CGF and Indian organisers have said that security for the Commonwealth Games, featuring athletes from 71 nations and territories of the former British Empire, will be on par with last year’s Beijing Olympics.
“The CGF had sent a couple of delegates to check on the security,” said Kalmadi. “They have given a report for us to follow up on.
“The scenario in all our neighbouring countries also worries them, so we have to give them a lot of comfort on security.”
Organisers are looking at the 3-14 October Games next year to showcase their ability to stage major sporting events with an eye on hosting the Olympics by 2020.
Kalmadi admitted there were minor delays in construction of two venues, but promised to have all infrastructure ready six months ahead of the event.
“It took us a while to procure mandatory approval for some infrastructure projects,” he said. “That led to a delayed start, but we have now managed to catch up and most venues will be ready in time for the Games.”
Kalmadi said the CGF executive board were satisfied with the progress during a visit to New Delhi earlier this month.
“The CGF executive inspected the venues and expressed satisfaction with the way the infrastructure was coming up,” he said.
“We need to maintain the momentum, and the organising committee will keep monitoring the execution of infrastructure contracts.”
New Delhi is only the second Asian city to be hosting the Commonwealth Games. The Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur hosted the 1998 event.