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No security guidelines for 2010 Commonwealth Games

By Mrinalini Krishna, Ashish Sinha in New Delhi
Last updated on: December 09, 2008 23:13 IST
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Even though security is being beefed up across all important installations like airports, hotels and government buildings, there are no specific security guidelines for protecting the venues or the international athletes who are expected to participate in the 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi.

Tardy preparation is a threat

"There are no formal guidelines for security. The Commonwealth Games Federation, London, oversees the preparations. The idea is to ensure that the games go on smoothly. It should not be a fortress," says A Vasudevan, additional director general, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.

New Delhi is scheduled to host the games from October 3 to 14, 2010, and the construction of the Games village is in full swing. But the project developers and the Commonwealth Games organising committee have not been approached for discussing or reviewing any security cover, sources said.

Also, the proposed security budget for the games is only Rs 260 crore (Rs 2.6 billion), against over $200 million spent by the Australian government on security arrangements for the last Commonwealth Games held in Sydney. Overall, the budgetary projections for the games are estimated to be over Rs 5,500 crore (Rs 55 billion), but there is no specific allocation for security measures.

According to the rules, the responsibility of providing the security cover to the games venue, athletes and other officials of the participating teams lies with the host country. And these measures are deployed and reviewed normally 6 to 8 months before the date of the event, officials in the sports ministry said.

However, at the upcoming residential property being developed for the hundreds of participating athletes by Emaar MGF, there is no major security equipment being installed so far.

"The project belongs to the Delhi Development Authority, who have issued no specific guidelines for security. We are just developers. We are treating this as just another residential project", a senior executive at Emaar MGF said.

A senior official in the youth affairs and sports ministry said: "There will be an enhanced budgetary allocation for security, now that a coordination committee is overlooking all aspects of the games." This committee has been asked to brief the Union Cabinet on a weekly basis, sources said.

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Mrinalini Krishna, Ashish Sinha in New Delhi
Source: source

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