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As Clock Ticks, Dikshit And Kalmadi Say All Is Well

New Delhi: As the month-long countdown for Commonwealth Games begins, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, in the line of fire for tardy preparations, on Friday  voiced confidence that "hitches" will
PTI September 03, 2010 18:11 IST
PTI

New Delhi: As the month-long countdown for Commonwealth Games begins, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, in the line of fire for tardy preparations, on Friday  voiced confidence that "hitches" will be overcome and the event will be a great success. The OC chief said there may be "hitches" here and there but everything is on track to host a "good Games" which take place exactly a month later. 

Kalmadi and Dikshit, participating in a Games publicity function, said all the infrastructure in the city was ready and there was no reason to worry about the preparations, but sought greater public support for the event. 

"I am very optimistic.... Delhi is shaping up very well. We will have a great Games. The preparations are going on very well. It will be better, if we get support from you (the media)," Dikshit said. The OC chief, concerned over the negative publicity, sought public support, especially from the school and college students to make the event a success. 

"All the infrastructures are in place. The sports infrastructure are in place. We are going to have a very good games. All the member countries representatives who had come here from abroad had gone back saying it will be good. 

"The coordination commission of Commonwealth Games had come here and said everything is good. The President of CGF had come here and said every thing is good. So we have got everything good going. Now we need support from the people of the city, particularly from the school and college students," he said. The OC chief also complimented Dikshit for converting Delhi into a "world class city". 

"Sheilaji has made a real world class city. We have got a metro coming from the airport to Connaught Place, we have got a brand new airport terminal, got so many roads and flyovers, there may be some hitches here and there...," he said. 

Rejecting suggestions that tourist flow to Delhi may not be impressive during the event, Kalmadi said "tourist are going to come in a big way to Delhi". Asked about the shadow of dengue looming over the Games, Dikshit only said civic agencies are taking necessary steps to contain the spread of the disease. 

The function -- Shera (the mascot of the Games) Mera Dost -- was organised by Sanskriti school in cooperation with Delhi Government to encourage students' participation in the event.  Asking students to be part of the mega sporting event, Kalmadi said participation of the people was crucial for successful hosting of the event.  "We are having an multi-sport event taking place in India after a gap of 28 years... First time the Commonwealth Games is coming to India. You are aware that India is a land of cricket and more cricket. You have to learn about Olympic sports also. Olympic sport is a global sport.... I want you to change your mindset. We need your support," Kalmadi said addressing the students. 

Asked about travel advisories issued by the US and other countries, he refused to comment.

Dikshit also appealed to the students to extend their "whole hearted" support to make the event successful.  "We want children of Delhi to participate in the event. I want to tell you come out and watch, come out and play, come out and smile, come out and enjoy and above all come out and welcome everybody who comes here so that every body goes back with a lifetime memory," she said. PTI