The countdown has begun for the country that is 7th largest in area, 2nd largest in population and 5th largest in terms of trade.
The countdown is ticking for a nation that still looks like a messy construction site with roads filled with rubbles, new construction boards pulled up every week, beggars and thieves lurking in every corner, and common man grumbling over rising taxes to pay for the Common Wealth Games.
Indeed, Delhi hasn’t looked such cluttered before, in spite of day and night preparations to present it in its Sunday best. Come October and 8,000 athletes, over 10,000 visitors and 30,000 volunteers would land in Delhi from 71 different countries. But, are we both as a nation and as individual citizens prepared for the BIG event?
Let’s have a reality check…
Is the Infrastructure Ready?
Common man knew from the year 2003 that the Games are coming. Yet, the government sprung into action just over a few months back, when the clock’s hand started ticking harder in its head.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that rises late must trot all day.” And that is just the case here. Since the start of the construction, dozens of construction workers have died and even today thousands are laboring in unsafe conditions. Michael Fennell, the head of the Commonwealth Games, has openly expressed his disappointment with the pace at which the construction has been going.
The stadiums are scheduled to be finished in June.
Security is yet another major concern. The recent case of shifting IPL to South Africa once again leaves us with the question, “Would it be truly safe?”
To avoid any Lahore-like attack, the Centre has sanctioned nearly Rs 330 crore to Delhi Police to upgrade its inventory and equipments, which includes X-ray scanners, Door Frame Metal Detectors, Hand Held Metal Detectors, vehicles, communication equipment, etc.
Home secretary G.K. Pillai has ensured that there would be 2,000 CCTV cameras operating on the roads apart from those inside the competition venues to ensure the safety of the athletes, visitors and the citizens. There seems no credible threat to the Commonwealth Games, yet the government is taking all precautions.
Though Michael Fennell is satisfied about security arrangements here, yet he is still concerned about ticketing, food quality, logistics and accommodation.
Traffic in Delhi
A lot has been done, yet the need still prevails. The Indira Gandhi International Airport has witnessed the formation of the longest runway in Asia, 4.43 meters, for double sided landing and takeoff to accommodate the huge air traffic. A six-lane national highway NH8 has been built for well connectivity with the airport to ensure a better transport for the visitors.