India’s Commonwealth Games face monsoon test

General Manager - Port Investment Services at HIPG, Justin Zhang with Sri Lanka's Ambassador to China, Dr. Palitha Kohona in Beijing

NEW DELHI, June 13, 2010 (AFP) – New Delhi residents can’t wait for the onset of the monsoon to bring relief from the summer heat, but the impending rains could spell further trouble for Commonwealth Games organisers. “There is no doubt everything will be ready on time, whatever anyone may say,” organising committee secretary-general Lalit Bhanot told AFP.

Jaipal Reddy, the senior government minister overseeing the work, last week repeated pledges that the June 30 deadline would be met.

Not everyone shares that optimism, least of all Delhi’s harried residents, who negotiate their way every day through a rubble-filled city that often resembles a huge building site.

“They must be six months behind schedule, if not more,” said bank executive Sanjaya Gupta. “Perhaps they could get the Games postponed till next year.”

The latest indication of trouble came from city officials who leaked information to the media that a four-kilometre (2.5 mile) elevated road between the main stadium and the athletes’ village would not be finished before mid-August.

The rush to complete Games-related work is also proving hazardous. On May 29, a public transport bus full of passengers sank into a large crater that appe