Commonwealth Games CEO happy with Delhi Games progress

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New Delhi, July 3 (ANI): The Commonwealth Games Federation, which had earlier expressed grave concerns over Delhi's preparations for the October Commonwealth Games, is now much more positive about the authorities delivering the event to the world on time.

The Games are just three months away, and, three crucial venues are still not ready, but the mood among the organizers is upbeat.

"We have given out brickbats when they have been deserved on the progress of the venues, but perhaps it's time to give out a bouquet, because we are really impressed by the amount of work that has been done in the past couple of months," Commonwealth Games Federation CEO Mike Hooper told The Age.

Delhi had promised most facilities for the Games would be finished by the end of last year. That deadline was extended to March 31, then June 30.

Three pivotal projects - the main Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, the aquatic complex and the athletes' village - all missed last week's target. But organisers say the buildings are "99 per cent" finished.

"We are not going to worry about a week or two. It would have been nice had the venues been completed earlier ... but from an operational point of view will the venues be able to be used for their purpose? The answer is yes," Hooper said.

More than 20 new infrastructure projects across Delhi are due to be finished before the Games, including a major expansion of the city's metro rail network.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the R. K. Khanna Tennis Stadium, the Delhi University rugby sevens stadium and the National Stadium for hockey are all open-air venues. Several running and cycling events will be held on roads. A series of outdoor public events to coincide with Delhi's much-anticipated sporting extravaganza could also be affected by the weather.

Organisers, however, said that they are keeping their fingers crossed. (ANI)

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