New Delhi will stage a memorable Commonwealth Games next year, Prince Edward and delegates from 71 countries and territories were promised today by Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the local Organising Committee.
Kalmadi made his promise when he addressed the opening session of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Assembly attended by Edward, who is the vice-patron of the CGF, in the Indian capital today.
He said: "There are many challenges but I can assure you that we will live up to them.
"We have the full support of the Government of India, with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh taking personal interest and with the Sports Minister Dr MS Gill coordinating the efforts to ensure that the Games are successful.
"We also have [New Delhi] Chief Minister Mrs Sheila Dikshit ensuring that Delhi will put its best foot forward to host the Games.
"You have seen the venues and Village and the Organising Committee headquarters which is the operation centre for the Games.
"You have also seen some of our traditional hospitality.
"I would like to thank the CGAs (Commonwealth Games Associations) for giving us support and guidance.
"The next Coordination Commission visit is due in December and we will work to live up to the expectations of the CFG."
Gill admitted that India cannot relax until the closing ceremony of the Games, which are due to open on October 3 next year, take place on October 14.
He said: "This is not Melbourne [which hosted the 2006 Commonwealth Games], this is not Glasgow [which will host 2014].
"Delhi is a city of 15 million people, one of the greatest cities of India.
"It has all the problems that great cities have - from Tokyo to Lagos to Delhi.
"And that is a continuing phenomenon but within that we have to make arrangements that are acceptable and seen as good.
"While you may like the progress you have seen over the past few months, we can see that there is plenty to be done.
"For a good Indian wedding, there is work till the last minute.
"We are confident that we will do a good job.
"I will reiterate what Mr Kalmadi said - and, frankly, it does not need saying - we are Team India and the Government of India has offered total support without any hesitation.
"We are in a single line of linkages and all together into this.
"The Prime Minister takes meetings regularly and has given the Group of Ministers under Mr S Jaipal Reddy the mandate to ensure that we are ready and complete for the Games."
Gill promised that the Government was prepared to spend what it takes to make the Games a success.
He said: "In order to expand the budget of the Organising Committee as is necessary according to financial examination of proposals made, we are about to go to Cabinet and get the sanction.
"The Prime Minister is clear that whatever needs to be spent for a successful conduct of the Games to your satisfaction will be done."
Mike Fennell, the President of the CGF, who demanded a meeting with the Prime Minister while he was here to try to get reassurances that everything would be ready for next year, also praised preparations.
He said: "We are coming here in the midst of many adverse reports about Delhi, reports that are not quite accurate.
"But one conflicting fact is that attention is being paid by the Government of India through [Sports] Minister M S Gill, who has given qualified assurance that all the resources that are necessary to ensure the successful celebration of the Games in 2010 will be provided by the Government."
Article courtesy of Inside the Games.