Dipankar De Sarkar
London, Aug 20 The 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi will be "best ever" with the prime minister rolling out a massive Rs.7 billion (Rs.700 crore) budget and the work schedule on target, Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi has told British investors in London.
"The Delhi Games are going to be the best ever Commonwealth Games so far. The budget we have been allocated is more than the budget for the entire sports ministry," Kalmadi told a group of British businessmen and investors at a meeting on Wednesday.
Kalmadi, MP, said most of the infrastructure will be ready by December, and some by March 2010, followed by a period of final testing from March to July.
"In fact, our Games Village will be better than the one for the Beijing Olympics. I'm sure the athletes are going to love it," Kalmadi told the meeting which was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the office of the Commonwealth.
It was attended by Anwar Hasan, director of Tata Limited UK, Andy Scott, director of International and UK operations, Confederation of British Industry (CBI), UK India Business Council CEO Sharon Bamford, other representatives of British business and Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell.
This was the first overseas visit by an Indian Commonwealth Games delegation, which gave an update on preparations, discussed remaining investment needs and reviewed arrangements for the Queen's baton relay -- the curtain raiser to all Commonwealth Games.
Kalmadi assured the meeting that India was being "very very careful" about security at the Games and had hired the services of Intelligence Risk, the firm that provided security at the world badminton championships in Hyderabad last week.
"We have learnt from each of the terrorist incidents at Lahore and Mumbai. We are being careful from the very start of the construction stage. We take security very seriously -- you can be assured of that," Kalmadi told the meeting.