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Tech thumbs up to Games

Ranchi, Dec. 30: Games Technical Conduct Committee (GTCC) chairman S.M. Bali today expressed satisfaction over preparations, including quality of equipment, for the 34th National Games.

“We are ready. Now, the ball is in the court of the government, which has to ready infrastructure so that the Games can be held from February 12, 2011,” he said.

On query, Bali, however, admitted that he had received “complaints from some competition directors” and had forwarded the same to the director of sports and the National Games Organising Committee. He also conceded that most equipment were purchased two years ago and five per cent of them turned out to be substandard when the competition directors examined them “thoroughly” yesterday.

The chairman, however, evaded questions on the justification of the GTCC’s past visits and of “okay” certificates issued despite “serious shortcomings” being detected.

All he said was that the damaged and substandard equipment would be replaced well before the Games. He said the terraflex surface for volleyball and basketball events would be laid by January 28.

While the GTCC chairman chanted the all-is-well mantra, some competition directors seemed unhappy with preparations. Indian Rugby Football Union’s development officer Nandu Chandavarkar said two dozen balls purchased for the event lacked “proper grip”. He also said there were no Rugby 7’s goal posts in stock.

On Silli as the new venue for the event, he said: “The stadium there is not suitable for rugby. An artificial grass surface cannot be laid because it will cause injury when players slide to tackle. Instead, the surface at Birsa Munda Stadium can be improved in a month’s time,” Chandavarkar said.

But Bali maintained that Silli would remain the venue for Rugby 7’s if the turf was laid within 20 days.

Dhiren Bhatia of the National Rifle Association of India also had his share of gripe. “The mandatory theolite measuring machine has not been used while preparing shooting ranges. In its absence, we cannot assess whether the targets are aligned. Also, several wires linking equipment to computers have snapped and gadgets to check shoes, vests, rifles and gloves of shooters need to be procured,” he said, adding that it would take two-three weeks to evaluate the ranges.

Volleyball expert Shekhar Bose has complained that the balls, nets and poles were substandard while the Fencing Association rued inadequate equipment.

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