Only a few days from the start of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi – a global event that officials hoped would propel India’s tourism by luring hundreds of thousands of sporting fans – athletes are withdrawing with health and safety concerns.
The press coverage of the Games has been condemning, ranging from an inhospitable athletes’ village, to venues in disrepair, to compromised security, to flooded infrastructure.
In the latest development, fresh terror alert warnings have been issued in light of two extremist groups planning to attack the Games, News.com.au reported.
According to Pakistani website PKKH pakistanKaKhudaHafiz.com, leaked top secret police documents reveal two extremist groups, the Naxalites and a local group The Mars, have obtained explosives and are planning to attack the Commonwealth Games, the report said.
Sixty-one trucks carrying 300 tonnes of explosives went missing last month from Rajasthan to Chanderi and Sagar in Madhya Pradesh. They have not been found.
The Games, a multi-sport event held every four years among countries and territories of the former British Empire, were intended to boost already strong tourism numbers to India this year, USA Today reported.
However, as the deadline approaches, growing concerns over safety have plagued the Games.
Last weekend, two Taiwanese visitors were shot near one of the city’s largest mosques, prompting Australia and the UK to update their travel alerts for India.
Further to this, more than 20 people were injured when a pedestrian bridge to the Games’ main stadium collapsed.
Several athletes from a range of participating nations have pulled out of competition, citing terrorism fears and a large dengue fever outbreak from the monsoonal pools of water.
"Confidence in India’s infrastructure, its capacity to organise large events, and its reputation as a tourist destination have all been brought into question," reported global rating agency Moody’s.Whilst most nations are sending near-full teams to compete at the Games, preparations haven’t been without digression, as New Zealand, Australia, Britain and Canada have spent time discussing alternative plans in case the event was cancelled.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C