Considerable progress has been made in getting New Delhi ready for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, organisers today assured visiting international inspectors who began a crucial three-day visit to the Indian capital.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Coordination Commission, chaired by Austin Sealy, were promised by Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman of the organising committee, that they would see a noticeable difference in Delhi as they toured the city.
He said: "I have always maintained that CoCom meetings are good opportunities to introspect and review what needed to be done to achieve set milestones and time-lines."
Kalmadi also said the organising committee has done a great deal to streamline the operational part of the Games.
He said the organising committee had increased its workforce, recruiting people with relevant industry experience.
Kalmadi said: "We have total clarity in the management structure, with each functional area having separate head.
"The workforce has risen from 228 in May 2009 to 680.
"As many as 200 others have been selected to join in the next month.
"We will go up to 1600 when the Games come."
He claimed that finances are under control and added that revenue from sales of television rights has already exceeded their expectation.
Kalmadi said: "Against projected revenues of $30 million (£18 million), we have already secured deals worth $42 million (£25 million).
"Major sponsorship deals have been signed with Air India, NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) and Hero Honda and many more offers are under finalisation in the areas of banking, logistics, food and beverage, technology, transport and overlays provider."
Sindhurshree Khullar, the Secretary of India's Sports Ministry, asked the Coordination Commission to support its effort to stage the biggest event in the country since the 1982 Asian Games.
She said: "Lot of time has been spent in explaining things instead of getting on with the task of ensuring that the Games are conducted well.
"The level of monitoring the progress of the Games has gone up.
"Your advice will help us."
Organising committee director general V.K. Verma briefed the members, addressing the areas of concerns listed by the Coordination Commission in its report after its last visit in May 2009, which led to fears abroad that Delhi would not be ready for the Games, which are due to open on October 3, 2010.
He spoke of the presence of dozens of experts with Games experience and gave an update on each of the 36 functional areas.
Meetings will be held until Wednesday evening after which the Coordination Commission will present its report to the CGF President Mike Fennell.
Sealy said: "We are all working towards the same goal - that of producing a successful Games next year."
Article courtesy of Inside the Games. Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]