Remember the extravaganza called Beijing Olympics? It was one of the most expensive & expansive Olympics ever to be held. People were in awe of what China had done with the Infrastructure & facilities for the pinnacle of sporting tournament.
For China, it was a big in-direct step for changing the its global image from a poor country to a more modern upcoming super-power nation.
On the other hand, India seems to be doing exactly the opposite – Although, I cannot say this until the Commonwealth Games supposed to be held next year in Delhi are over. But the way things are going currently, India may have to hide their faces, if something is not done on war footing.
The Commonwealth games will be held next year in October, but as per the deadlines, all the preparations have to be completed by March 2010, and it seems thats deadline may not be met.
Although the IOC head Mr. Suresh Kalmadi keeps iterating that the they are on schedule, everyone else on ground seem to think otherwise. Infact, as of now, none of the venues are even near completion.
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) says 13 of 19 venues are between 30% and 50% behind schedule
Everyone in the media (globally) are talking about how even at this late stage of preparation, India is still far from ready for for the games. The Economist calls India’s preparations for its biggest-ever sporting event very embarrassing
And it is just not for the venues, the accommodation arrangements for the athletes also is a big issue. Only 3,952 of the ‘confirmed’ 9,500 rooms – a mere 41% – are currently ready. That’s not all. Of the 2,194 ‘likely’ rooms expected to come up in time for the October 2010 event, only 50% will be ready, according to the ministry’s review.
Rajesh Kalra on his Blog gives even more bleak picture:
This city, which is to host the games in October next year, is a complete mess. Almost every major road is dug up or blocked, either for Metro or flyover construction, and others that are not affected by games-related construction can thank substandard material used in road building for giving the entire city a uniform experience. Even calling it a disgrace is an understatement.
And this is just the roads and other networks that are basically required to get to the venues where the events would take place, but what about the venues themselves? By all available reports (CGF says 13 of 19 venues are between 30% and 50% behind schedule), they are so far behind schedule that some of them may be a disaster in the making if rushed through.
He goes ahead and even suggests this extreme step:
I would be happy if the Prime Minister, without wasting any more time, comes out with a statement that goes thus: “Given the current economic situation, the country would be better off without the games and the money that was being spent on building these white elephants would be utilised to build homes for the poor, and the beggars we wanted out so that they don’t prove to be an eyesore for the visitors”.
Would love to hear what readers have to say? Is it better to shelve the Commonwealth Games plan instead of ruining India’s Image – or should we go all out and do whatever it takes to ensure that Games are held with some amount of respectability?