China's Guangzhou city ready to host Asian Games, as Delhi struggles with CWG 2010
New Delhi, July 27 (ANI): Even as New Delhi continues to wrestle with meeting construction and city upkeep deadlines for the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG) to be held in October, the Chinese city of Guangzhou has announced it is ready to host the16th Asian Games.
The 16th Asian Games will take place in Guangzhou from November 12 to 27. Guangzhou is the second city in China to host the Games after Beijing in 1990.
Over 14,000 athletes, trainers and coaches from 45 countries and regions are expected to compete in a total of 476 events in 42 sports.
All 53 competition venues and 17 training venues available for the Games are ready. These include the Asian Games Town, which consists of the Athletes' Village, Technical Officials Village, Media Village, Main Media Center and International Broadcast Center.
Contrastingly, in Delhi, only marginal venue- Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and RK Khanna Tennis Stadium are said to be fully operational.
The remaing stadiums such as the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium complex, Siri Fort Sports Complex, Tyagaraj Sports Complex, Maj. Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Talkatora Indoor Stadium, Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, Yamuna Sports Complex and Delhi University are still not ready.
Reports indicate that a series of test events entitled 'Vigorous Guangzhou' have commenced from May and will go on till September prior to the opening ceremony of the 16th Asian Games.
The 'Vigorous Guangzhou' series of test events includes a number of provincial sporting events (accounting for 60 percent), national competition events (accounting for 30 percent) and regional or international competitions (accounting for 10 percent), covering 34 of the Guangzhou Asian Games sports and five of the Guangzhou Asian Para Games sports.
Thirty-seven sport events under the name of 'Vigorous Guangzhou' are to be held in the Games competition venues in Guangzhou, with the other two in the co-host cities of Foshan and Dongguan respectively.
The New Delhi Commonwealth Games have been plagued by delays in the construction of infrastructure and venues, which should have been finished months ago for test events but instead are just starting to come on line now.
Guangzhou is also paying host to the Asian Para Games from December 12 to 19, 2010, two weeks after the conclusion of The 16th Asian Games, featuring 3,000 athletes from 41 Asian countries and regions competing in 19 sports.
The 2010 Asian Para Games will feature 19 sports, including 17 Paralympic sports and two non-Paralympic sports.
There will be 26 venues for the Games, including 19 competition venues and seven training venues, clustered in four major areas: The Guangdong Olympic Sports Center, Tianhe Sports Center, Higher Education Mega Center and Asian Games Town.
It is the first time the two Games have been be held in one city.
On the civic construction front, Delhi clearly lags behind in comparison to Guangzhou. Media reports have indicated that the Indian capital continues to be dotted with piles of rubbish and discarded construction material.
In contrast, many old apartment buildings in Guangzhou are getting a new look ahead of the Asian Games.
Guangzhou plans to invest a total of seven billion Yuan before the Asian Games to spruce up the city, including renovation of old buildings and roads
To project a better city image during the Asian Games, Guangzhou has been replacing about 1,000 old flat roofs with new red roofs made of synthetic resin since the end of 2009, according to the municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
China has also steeped up security surveillance ahead of the Asian Games.
"You have entered into an area that is being monitored by an intelligent video surveillance system," read the black Chinese characters on a board near an entrance to Huaqiao Xincun on the busy Huanshidong road in Guangzhou's Yuexiu District, reports China Daily.
The tiny surveillance camera is operational round the clock. Guangzhou residents have welcomed the video cameras with open arms.
Meanwhile, tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games and Asian Para Games are on sale to the public worldwide since Monday.
The public can log onto the official ticketing Web site of the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games to apply for the tickets. Each person can only submit a booking request, but all the four ceremonies can be applied for in one booking with fewer than two tickets for every ceremony.
A total of 5,000 tickets will be available to the public for the opening ceremonies of the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games and another 5,000 for the closing ceremony.
For the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games, 10,000 tickets for the opening ceremonies will be sold and another 10,000 will be available for the closing ceremonies.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi is being touted as the biggest international sporting event to be hosted by India since the 1982 Delhi Asian Games.
Its success is being seen as the first step for India to bid for bigger events, but still New Delhi is not ready for it.
Of late, the pending work related to CWG 2010 has drawn wide public attention.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday, however, claimed that all pending work would be completed on time before the Commonwealth Games.
"31st August is the deadline, all the work will be done. In September, the finishing touches will be given. All the contractors related to electricity, street-scaping were all called for a briefing," said Dikshit.
"We told them that if they face any problem from any other agency including the police they would be helped; we even requested the police and they have even agreed to it that they will not arrest anybody, who is working at nights," she added.
Sheila Dikshit also warned that contractors who do sub-standard work or fail to meet the Aug 31 deadline to complete Commonwealth Games projects would be blacklisted and penalised.
She said the Delhi Government has also received complaints of low quality work from some parts of the capital, adding that another meeting with the contractors will be held Aug 10 to review the progress.
The chief minister also exhorted the contractors to personally visit the sites and said that street lighting; street-scaping, signage and greening work should be of high quality.
She also issued directives to the Public Working Department (PWD) to concentrate on completing works on roads close to the Games Village and to ensure proper street lighting.
Moreover, with just 68 days to go, the organisers still don't know when to release the plethora of Commonwealth Games 2010-branded merchandise in the market to help Delhi don the look of a city about to host a global showpiece event.
The Organising Committee (OC) was supposed to release the unique branded items months in advance, giving Delhiites enough time to get them into circulation and build the buzz about the Games (ANI)
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