21 Aug 2009

Indian Comm Games preperations behind schedule

5:55 am on 21 August 2009

India's preparations for next year's Commonwealth Games have fallen a long way behind schedule and threaten to mar the showcase event, according to a Government report published in a local newspaper.

Work on 14 of the 19 sports venues is running late, while nine transport projects to improve Delhi's congested road network are at "high risk" of not being completed when the Games open on October 3rd 2010.

The Comptroller and Auditor General report, obtained by the Times of India, said that the aquatic complex was meant to be 93 per cent finished by August but was only 42 per cent complete.

It also said the design of the renovated main stadium was still not finalised.

The Commonwealth Games Federation has expressed concern over the slow pace of work, but last month said it was impressed at recent progress made by the city.

The report was the latest in a series of gloomy assessments on India's preparations to host the Games, which will feature athletes from 71 nations and territories.

The Indian Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for construction of the athletes village only three weeks ago, after dismissing complaints by environment groups over the site on the banks of the river Yamuna.