Wednesday, August 31, 2011

delhi to host south asian games in 2012

31 Aug 2011


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Not yet recovered from the tainted Commonwealth Games (CWG), Delhi now plans to host the 2012 South Asian Games, tentatively planned between October and November next year.

The Indian Olympic Association, which is headed by senior BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra as its senior vice-president since after its chief Suresh Kalmadi was arrested and put in jail in the CWG scams, wants the games in Delhi, though Ranchi and Chennai offered to host them.

"Both Chennai and Ranchi have the infrastructure. But we felt Delhi, having hosted the Commonwealth Games, is more prepared," Malhotra said, claiming that he has secured an in-principle nod from a reluctant Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

She, however, wants her government's role clearly defined if it is to organise the games that is expected to attract over 2000 players as she says the CWG controversies are still nagging her and she does not want any more.

The IOA has estimated the expenditure at Rs 50-60 crores but the actual sum can go up alike the CWG, though Malhotra says there would not be much expenditure since the CWG facilities are already there for use in the new event.

Ticklish issue is the funding. The IOA, a conglomeration of various sports bodies in India, does not have money to host the event. Delhi chief secretary P K Tripathi has communicated to the Sport Ministry that "the government of Delhi would be willing to help in the organisation of the (South Asian) Games, provided the Government of India is willing to bear the expenditure."

Malhotra is quite clear. The IOA does not want to get any blame for anything going wrong. "We would be more than happy to hand over (organisation of the event) if the Sports Ministry handles the finances," he said.


No comments: