Security exercises for Commonwealth Games kick off Wednesday

By Sahil Makkar, IANS,

New Delhi : Dry runs to check the level of security preparedness, emergency response, behaviour and coordination among various agencies ahead of the New Delhi Commonwealth Games will kick off at a shooting competition at the Dr Karni Singh shooting range in south-east Delhi Wednesday.

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A temporary venue security command has also been set up at the shooting range and the multiple agencies involved in the exercise are the ministry of home affairs, Delhi airport, district police, traffic police, security cell, special cell, central paramilitary forces including National Security Guard (NSG), intelligence agencies and civil administration authorities like Municipal Corporation of Delhi (DTC), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and Delhi Fire Service (DFS).

“It has been decided at a meeting with Delhi Police, organising committee and other agencies to take every event as run up to the Commonwealth Games. It will be a full-fledged rehearsal where multiple agencies will coordinate and work hand-in-hand to prevent any untoward incident,” a highly placed security source told IANS.

“Wednesday’s shooting event is the dress rehearsal for the Commonwealth Games. We will follow the drill of taking players and athletes from the airport or their respective place of accommodation to the stadium as per the pre-decided planning with all concerned agencies,” the official added.

The response of all stakeholders will again be monitored Feb 18-28 when the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) will organise another shooting competition at the range.

The same drill come into play at the World Cup Hockey, which will take place Feb 28-March 13 at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in the heart of the national capital. Twelve countries, including Pakistan, Germany and Australia, are participating in the event.

The next security check will be during the March 7-13 archery event at the Yamuna Sports Complex. According to highly placed sources, these dry runs will be conducted till the start Commonwealth Games Oct 3. Over 70 countries are participating in the Games that will be held at different venues in the national capital and its suburbs Oct 3-14.

Though the government and the organisers are committed to safe Games, security continues to be the prime concern of quite a few participating countries, including Britain and Australia.

A delegation of security experts from Britain, which was here last month in the wake of concerns raised by some of their athletes, expressed its satisfaction over the security arrangements for the Games.