National Games may be delayed further


Ranchi : The 34th National Games, which have been deferred by four months till March next year due to the lack of infrastructure in Jharkhand, may now get further delayed because of the slow pace of work.

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The National Games were scheduled to be held in Ranchi in November this year but were postponed to March 2008.

Two companies, Lyang and Simplex, have been given the job of constructing two stadiums, while another company, Nagarjuna, has been given the job of constructing the flats where players will stay during the games.

Sources said only 65 percent of the work of the main stadium and 30 percent of the work of the administrative buildings have been completed so far.

Chief Minister Madhu Koda reviewed the construction work and expressed unhappiness over its slow pace.

“The companies which have been given contracts to complete the stadiums and other buildings of the sports complex will have to complete their work in the given time so that the games can be conducted in March next year,” Koda said.

State government officials said Nagarjuna is lagging behind by almost three months in its work and Simplex is lagging behind by nearly two months.

A company official said on condition of anonymity: “We try to expedite the work, but bureaucratic hassles create problems for us.”

Three months ago, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) supporters allegedly sought funds from Simplex and this halted the work by one week.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has also expressed unhappiness over the progress of work and threatened to fine the state government if it failed to conduct the games in March next year.

As per IOA rules, the state government will have to cough up a fine of Rs.1 million per year for delaying the National Games.

If the state government fails to conduct the Games in March 2008, then it cannot be held before November 2008 as the Olympic Games will take place in Beijing next year and the athletes will be busy preparing for that.