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Commonwealth Games venue fears heighten

Published:Thursday | May 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

NEW DELHI (AP):

The coordination commission of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) yesterday expressed serious concern over the delay in the delivery of the major sports venues for the Games, that get under way in the Indian capital in less than five months.

These venues include the athletics stadium, which is being upgraded to host the ceremonies as well, the swimming complex and the Games Village.

"There remains much to be done to ensure readiness and a cohesive Games delivery from the opening of the Games Village on September 16," the commission said in a statement.

The Games, that feature 71 nations and territories of the old British empire, are scheduled for October 3-14. The missing of construction deadlines in the past has provoked criticism from the CGF and caused embarrassment for local organisers.

These delays have a knock-on effect and hamper the organising committee's planning and implementation for final overlay, staff training, rehearsal, and simulation, the statement said.

"It is imperative that everything be done to accelerate works and that the agencies responsible for venue delivery cooperate fully with the organising committee to ensure the final planning for handover and operations," it said.

The commission said there has been progress in securing of Games accom-modation requirements and in conducting eight test events.

It also said the CGF was working closely with the organising committee, New Delhi police and the federal and local governments to monitor all Games security arrangements and has assigned specialist consultants to work on its behalf.

The cash-strapped government is pumping in more money to the nearly $3-billion event.

In March, the national government announced it was lending the organisers an additional $150 million to pay for fixtures and equipment required at the venues.