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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, calls for redoubling efforts

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, and Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill, center, talk as Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi, second left, looks on during a visit to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main venue of the Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010. (Getty Images)

New Delhi, Aug 29 (KATAKAMI / NEW KERALA.COM)  —  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this morning visited the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex where the opening and closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games are scheduled to be held.

The visit took place amidst allegations of massive corruption by agencies involved in the works relating to the Games and reports of delay in the completion of sports venues. The Commonwealth Games are starting from October 3.

Accompanied by Sports Minister M S Gill and Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairperson Suresh Kalmadi, Dr Singh was shown the various facilities including playing fields, media centre, the royal box, stands for spectators, security and other arrangements.

The Prime Minister said it was a beautiful stadium and urged all authorities concerned to redouble their efforts to quickly complete whatever works remained as the people were expecting a spectacular and flawless opening to the Commonwealth Games.

The Prime Minister had in his Independence Day speech, promised the Nation that the games will be a success.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had revised the deadline to September 15.

Concerned over the delays and the corruption allegations, the Prime Minister had convened a high-level meeting on August 14 to review the preparations for the Games.

He had formed a committee of bureaucrats headed by the Cabinet Secretary and given it over-riding powers by bringing into its ambit the Games Organising Committee that has been tainted by corruption charges, following which Mr Kalmadi had complained of having been deprived of some important powers.

A Group of Ministers (GoM) was constituted to oversee the Games and a final call on any issue will be made by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The Prime Minister, who was concerned over the state of preparedness, was invited by Gill to personally inspect the Games venues.

The Nehru stadium has been refurbished at a whopping Rs 9.6 billion (approximately 200 million dollar) with international consultants from six countries – Germany, Switzerland, Britain, the US and Australia – putting their heads together to construct the state-of-art facility.


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