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Rediff.com  » Sports » R K Khanna Tennis Complex ready for C'Wealth Games

R K Khanna Tennis Complex ready for C'Wealth Games

July 26, 2010 19:43 IST

A refurbished R K Khanna Tennis Complex was formally handed over to Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Monday, at a ceremony attended by Union Minister of Urban Development S Jaipal Reddy and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Unlike other stadia, upgradation of which is being undertaken by government agencies like the DDA and NDMC, the tennis venue was completed by the All India Tennis Association (AITA).

"This is the stadium which holds the record for hosting the largest number of international events. Now it has been refurbished and handed over to the CWGOC. This stadium is a perfect example of a public-private undertaking," AITA secretary Anil Khanna said.

This is the first Commonwealth Games where tennis will be played as a medal sport.

"This is the first stadium to be handed over to us and it is one of the best stadiums in Commonwealth countries. The job of AITA is only half done. They have to make sure that these world-class facilities will be used by the players to bring home some medals," Kalmadi said.

A confident Kalmadi said preparation for the Games is on schedule and will be completed.

"The international airport has been revamped, the Delhi Metro has opened, the airport line and roads and pavements are getting final touches. Everything is on time," he added.

Union Minister Jaipal Reddy said, "We may look confident on the exterior, but we are also worried. But that is good, because anxiety will keep us on our toes.

"In India, everything is done well, but they are completed at the last minute. The preparations for the Games are also like that. It will be done and it will be done well."

Reddy also addressed the issue of the use of stadia once the Games are over.

"I don't know what we will do with all these facilities. This problem has to be addressed soon and it should be made sure that athletes in our country have access to the stadia," he said.

Dixit said the legacy of the Games will benefit Delhi in a big way.

"The improved infrastructure is for Delhiites to use after the Games. As far as preparedness is concerned, come 31st August everything will be in place. Please don't discourage us by being so critical," Dixit said, referring to the recent spurt in criticism by the media.

The stadium complex was upgraded at Rs 65 crore and is spread over 11,500 square metres. It has 14 tennis courts -- one centre court, one show court and 12 other courts -- with the centre court having seating capacity of 5,000. There are six match courts and six practice courts. The stadium has been upgraded with locally available material like as red sandstone.

Sahim Mohd Salim New Delhi