The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Delay cloud on Games

Ranchi, June 17: The National Games may just not be held this year.

Besides ironing out many technical chinks in the ongoing construction work for the 34th National Games, the Indian Olympic Association’s technical expert, A.V.S. Prasad, today observed: “The construction work will not be complete as per the schedule announced by the state sports department.”

In plain words, the state should prepare to cough up Rs one crore as fine for not being able to stick to the schedule, which has already been extended a couple of times.

Prasad’s visit is an exercise to assess whether IOA president Suresh Kalmadi needs to visit the city and the site on July 15 before taking a final call on extending the date of the Games again and the possibility of extracting a fine for the delay.

Kalmadi had announced at the JOA presentation in Delhi on June 14 that he would take the final decision on the date and, if required, the fine for the delay, after visiting Ranchi on July 15.

Politely but firmly Prasad told the state sports director, P.C. Mishra, and the state department’s engineers, “I don’t think construction work would be complete by the schedule prepared by you. If it does get completed, then it would be just fine.”

Prasad, who is also the technical committee head for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, arrived in the city this afternoon and drove straight to the site of the Games to take stock of the progress.

Keeping in mind finer technical requirements, Prasad said the monsoon would be a major hindrance as it had been in the preparations of Hyderabad Games.

The state sports department officials, however, insisted work had picked up pace and the surface laying of the main stadium at Hotwar, where the inaugural ceremony as well as the athletic events will be held, would be completed by the end of September.

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