'One of the best Games villages anyone has seen'
Commonwealth Games organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi claims that the training facilities available at the Delhi Games' Village are best in the world.
"The standard of training facilities that are available here are not available anywhere else in the world. This is one of the best Games villages that anyone has seen," Kalmadi said on the occasion of the soft launch of the Commonwealth Games Village on Wednesday.
"All the facilities in the village are top class and I am sure the athletes are going to love it.
"The training areas comprising the swimming pool, athletic track, gymnasium, weightlifting and wrestling areas are simply wonderful. In a Games village, generally, all these facilities are not available at such a large scale," he added.
Image: A general view of the 2010 Commonwealth Games village in New Delhi
Village will open on September 23
Putting to rest all rumours about the readiness of the Games Village, Kalmadi, himself led the media contingent to various parts of the village.
"The whole village is ready. The international, the training centres and the accommodations are all in place.
"The Games Village will open from September 23 and we will have a lot of athletes coming in on September 23, 24 and 25 and they will continue to come till October 2," he said.
Image: An inside view of an apartment
'Athletes will come as a friend and go back as family'
He also stressed that it is not only their stay at the Games village that the athletes are going to enjoy but also the event as a whole.
"Every evening we are going to have entertainment programmes for the athletes.
"Also, for the first time, the athletes would be watching the opening ceremony of the CWG. Usually, after the march past they go outside. But here they would come back and sit inside the stadium and watch the cultural programmes, which is going to show 500 years of Indian culture.
"By the time they will go back they will be like a family. They will come as a friend and go back as family. They will enjoy themselves," said Kalmadi.
Image: The athletes' dining area
'Nobody is afraid. Everyone's coming'
Addressing security concerns during the sporting extravaganza that is going to take place from October 3-14, the OC chairman said, "We just had a security meeting and all issues of security have been sorted out. The Delhi Police have done a great job.
"In fact, some of the top officials of Delhi Police have previous experiences of how to run the security during the Games as they have been to Olympics and Commonwealth Games in other countries. The security in the Games Village is of top priority and I am very happy with the arrangement.
"All 71 countries are coming. Nobody is afraid. Everyone's coming. The CWG Association had comprised a team, who used to visit India after every two months. So everyone's happy about the security," Kalmadi said.
Image: The athletics track inside the village
'After the Games, village will be for public'
Speaking on the utilisation of the space in the Village, which is spread over 158.4 acres of land, after the Games are over, Kalmadi said it would be a challenge.
"There has been a lot of discussion on how to utilize large portions of land after the Games are over. Usually, after such big events there is always a question of how to use these structures and that is a challenge.
"The DDA has a lot of sports background. They have opened lot of clubs in the city. After the Asian Games, they opened clubs for the public use and I am sure in this case also they will use it for the public," he said.
Image: The Commonwealth Games 2010 mascot poses for photographers
'Taking all steps to have safe and healthy Games'
Kalmadi also rubbished reports that dengue will pose a threat to the athletes, as the Games Village is still surrounded by a lot of flood water from the Yamuna, saying there is no need to panic.
"Central government, State government and the MCD are on war footing as far as dengue is concerned. Lot of insecticides have been put into place. Lot of fogging is also being done.
"The fogging of the Games Village is going to take place from tomorrow. So, we are taking all steps to have safe and healthy Games. There is no cause for alarm at all."
Image: The gymnasium inside the village