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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Recession hits Commonwealth Games

The global economic meltdown has hit the preparation of 2010 Commonwealth Games and Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi said on Tuesday the budget for the mega-event will be increased in view of the financial crisis.

"The budget for the Games will be increased slightly considering the escalating prices of raw material used in construction. The prices of steel and cement are currently high and we have to take that into consideration," Kalmadi said.

"We are building an international standard stadium here and we can't compromise on that," he added.

Kalmadi, however, was concerned about the security arrangement for the Games in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.

"We are very concerned about the security arrangement and we are taking additional steps. We are in talk with the Home ministry and the Lt governor is meeting with experts from Israel. We are procuring all required equipment to ensure 100
per cent safety. We can't afford to lower our guard in these times," he said.

The CWG organising committee chairman, who was on an inspection of the Nehru Stadium, reiterated that the work was on schedule and would be completed by December.

"Work is on track no doubt. We have completed 30 per cent of work, so we are on target. Most of the infrastructure will be ready by December this year, by March 2010 the test events will start and in August we have the Games.

"Work is going on in full swing. The warm up area is getting ready, the sitting area in the stadium will be accommodate 60,000 spectators as the upper tier is also coming
up. Over all, I am very happy with the way things are going," Kalmadi said.

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