New Delhi 2010 given warning

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New Delhi's status as host of the 2010 Commonwealth Games is reportedly under threat due to concerns over construction delays.

India has apparently been told by the Commonwealth Games Federation to urgently resolve a legal battle which could stop construction of the athletes' village for the 2010 event. The federation says any changes to the village arrangements at this late stage would seriously jeopardise India's hosting of the Games. Games organisers had planned to build the Village next to the River Yamuna. However, the site covers part of the bed of the river, which means that construction on it may put flows of groundwater and the ecology of the waterway in danger. Protests by environmental groups have led to intervention by the High Court of Delhi. Austin Sealy, the chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation Co–ordination Committee, is reported to have said that he is concerned about the ongoing dispute and urged for a speedy resolution. The senior official also expressed his dissatisfaction over the delay in starting the construction of a new velodrome. He was surprised to notice that the construction of velodrome had not been started when there were less than two years left for the Games. In response, New Delhi's most powerful politician, Sheila Dixit, has vowed that all the facilities required to stage the 2010 Commonwealth Games will be ready on time, and that preparations are " in full swing" . Dixit added there were no grounds for changes to the athlete's village. " We have all the answers to the (litigation). The work had begun after getting all clearances. " Meanwhile, Dr Lalit Bhanot, secretary–general of the Games organising committee, played down the federation's warnings. He admitted a future " adverse finding" by the court on the Games village would affect preparations but said he was sure all construction would be completed on target. Dr Bhanot said 90% of the infrastructure for the Games would be finished by the end of 2009, about 10 months before the opening ceremony. The Commonwealth Games, held every fourth year by the Commonwealth countries, is due to be held in New Delhi, from 3 October to 14 October 2010. A major legacy aim of the Games is to beautify the city and make it world class. "The face of Delhi is changing for the positive, " said Mike Hooper, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, who is spending two–thirds of his time based in Delhi in the build up to the Games. "Bringing the Games here has led to an explosion in the city on every level, from power and transportation, to venues themselves. The legacy will be great, there's no question of that. Twenty to 30 flyovers have been built already and there's an overall commitment to improving the city. Any concerns that had been voiced previously that things might not have been progressing at the right level in Delhi were no different than at any major sports event–Athens being a prime example. The transformation in the last four years here has been amazing and Delhi 2010 will be an enormous success. "The venues for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi are:Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – Opening and Closing ceremonies, Athletics, Lawn bowls, Weightlifting Dhyan Chand National Stadium – Hockey Indira Gandhi Arena – Archery, Cycling, Gymnastics, Wrestling Delhi University sports complex – Rugby Sevens Tyagaraj Sports Complex – Netball Siri Fort Sports Complex – Badminton, Squash Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range – Shooting Talkatora Stadium – Boxing SPM Swimming Pool Complex – Aquatics RK Khanna Tennis Complex – Tennis Yamuna Sports Complex – Table Tennis

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