29 Aug : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday visited the Jawaharlal Nehru sports complex in New Delhi and asked authorities to “redouble their efforts” to quickly complete remaining work there as people were expecting a “flawless” opening to the Commonwealth Games.
Terming the sports complex as “beautiful”, Dr Singh urged the authorities “to redouble their efforts to quickly complete whatever works remained as people were expecting a spectacular and flawless opening to the CWG.”
The Prime Minister visited the stadium, the venue of the opening and closing ceremonies of the October games, on Sunday morning. He was shown various facilities there including the playing fields, royal box, stands for spectators, security and other arrangements, PMO officials said.
Dr Singh’s visit comes as part of the series of steps he has taken to streamline and expedite the preparations for the October 3-14 mega event which have been rocked by a spate of corruption allegations.
The Prime Minister, accompanied by Sports Minister M S Gill and Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, went around the stadium and saw for himself the facilities and the work being done.
Dr Singh was there at the sports complex for over 20 minutes. Reporters were not allowed inside the venue during the Prime Minister’s visit. Concerned by the delays and the corruption charges, Singh had convened a high-level meeting on August 14 to review the preparations for the Games.
A committee of bureaucrats headed by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar was formed and given overriding powers by bringing into its ambit the Games Organising Committee that has been tainted following corruption allegations.
Observing that there have been “slippages” in time schedules and deficiencies noticed, Dr Singh had directed that a thorough probe should be held by the ministries concerned into complaints of “procedural and other irregularities” and “those found guilty should face severe and exemplary punishment”.
He had instructed that all pending works should be completed in a time-bound manner and decided to visit select venues of the Games in the last week of this month.