2010 Games: Delhi venues don't impress delegates

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2010 Games: Delhi venues don't impress delegates

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New Delhi:  If you want to know how behind we are in preparing for 2010 Commonwealth Games, here's an indicator, Scotland is hosting it in 2014 and they say they have done much, much more, than India has.

International delegates weren't really allowed to express their opinions on arrangements but NDTV fished it out.

"Well, there is a lot of work to do, whatever that is, there is clearly a lot of work," said British Virgin Islands delegate.

"No interaction with the media, no interaction with the media," was the chorus from among the organizers.

And that in a nutshell is the story of Thursday's site visits by the Commonwealth Games Federation.

As Games Federation President Michael Fennell toured the games village with 71 other delegates from participating nations, the rules were clear, no reporters, only camera-people, no mikes, no interviews.

The veil of secrecy is strictly enforced by the India's Organising Committee after facing severe criticism for their lack of progress.

So, reporters were allowed into just the Games village and the Thyagaraja Stadium, the only place close to completion.

The next stop was the National Stadium - the venue for Hockey. So far 70 per cent has been done.

Speaking exclusively to NDTV, a delegate from Scotland, the city which will host the 2014 Commonwealth Games said:

"Our work is far lesser. 75 per cent of our stadiums are ready, we really only needed upgrading anyway."

Traffic was one concern that delegates had but clearly with the traffic police cordoning off the entire Games venues that was not a problem today.

But free passage for the Delegates meant a large part of Delhi came to a halt for 10 hours. The police says that more visits could happen on Friday as well.

So, will Delhi pass the Games test? A lot depends on what Federation president Micheal Fennell decides.

Fennell had said that he was worried with the pace of work and is expected to meet the Prime Minister in the next few days.

At the end of the day, the official word: all is well, don't worry everyone's happy.

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"we are very impressed with what we've seen. You have world class stadiums which will be ready in time," said Christopher Lee, Charge d'affaires, Fiji.

With the Commonwealth Games Federation Delegates in town for a few more days, the site visits will continue on Friday as well. But a lot hangs in the balance for the organising committee to convince them that it can indeed pull it off. For today at least, the pervading sense seemed to be 'it's good, but there's still a lot of work that needs to be done'.

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