Delhi Govt signs agreement with Melbourne on CW Games

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New Delhi, Jun 3 (UNI) Lord Mayor of Melbourne John So today expressed satisfaction over the pace of preparations for Commonwealth Games 2010, to be held in the Capital city.

Speaking to mediapersons, after signing a Strategic City Alliance Agreement with Delhi government, to share experiences with regard to promotion of sports, economic activities, tourism and cultural activities in the country in the run up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Mr So stated that he has been able to visit number of stadiums in Delhi during his brief stay and was impressed with ongoing upgradation activities.

Both cities have agreed to formulate a strategic city alliance focusing initially on a ''Commonwealth Games Host City Partnership'' to share experiences in the preparations for and management of multi-disciplinary international sporting events. They would also promote development of sports, exchange of sporting knowledge, business relating to sports and tourism and cultural activities.

Mr So, along with members of delegation accompanied by Australian High Commissioner in India John Mc Carthy, today called on Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in her office at Delhi Secretariat.

Immediately after a brief interaction between the two dignitaries, an agreement was signed in the presence of a number of Delhi ministers, the Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta and other senior officers.

Ms Dikshit signed on behalf of city government, whereas Mr So signed on behalf of the City of Melbourne.

Later, the Chief Secretary gave a detailed presentation on City Infrastructure for CWG 2010.

Ms Dikshit described this agreement as the beginning of friendship between two prominent cities. This is the sixth agreement, which Delhi has signed with other prominent cities of the world.

Ms Dikshit expressed confidence that the agreement would extend scope for more Indians to go to Melbourne for studies. She described Melbourne as a beautifully managed city, which was able to meticulously host Commonwealth Games 2006.

The initial focus of the Delhi-Melbourne Strategic City Agreement signed by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Lord Mayor of Melbourne John So will be the exchange of information and expertise between Melbourne and Delhi, based on the former's experience as a host city for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Under the agreement, Delhi and Melbourne will form a joint Working Group, with equal representation from each city, to develop an action plan for the promotion of the above activities between the parties.

Each party will nominate a senior officer to act as a key contact person to further initiatives under the Delhi-Melbourne Strategic City Alliance agreement.

As part of the city alliance, Delhi and Melbourne would undertake several joint activities to enhance development and promote friendly relations.

These include the 'Commonwealth Games City Knowledge Transfer' pertaining to transfer of information on municipal and city wide planning and operational aspects, developing opportunities for cooperation between city Governments and relevant non-governmental organisations in areas of sports, education, city amenity, exchange of business opportunities and cultural activities and mutual promotion of the cities as tourist destination.

The Delhi-Melbourne Joint Working Group will endorse a mutually agreed three-year plan, which will be reviewed on an annual basis.

It is anticipated that the first three-year plan will focus on projects supporting Delhi's role as the host city for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

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