New Delhi will stage the best-ever Commonwealth Games next year, organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi promised British investors in London today.

Kalmadi, promised most of the infrastructure will be ready by this December, and some by March 2010, followed by a period of final testing from March to July.

Kalmadi's promieses were made despite Government report officially published today claiming work on 14 of the 19 sports venues is running late, while nine transport projects to improve Delhi's congested road network are at "high risk" of not being completed when the Games open on October 3 next year.

Kalmadi told the group of businessman: "In fact, our Games Village will be better than the one for the Beijing Olympics [last year].  "I'm sure the athletes are going to love it."

The meeting was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and was attended by a group of high-profile businessmen, including Anwar Hasan, the director of Tata Limited UK, Andy Scott, the director of International and UK operations for the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), UK India Business Council chief executive Sharon Bamford, other representatives of British business and the Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell.

It was the first overseas visit by an Indian Commonwealth Games delegation, which gave an update on preparations, discussed remaining investment needs and reviewed arrangements for the Queen's baton relay, the curtain raiser to all Commonwealth Games, which is due to start in London on October 29.
Kalmadi also tried to reassure the meeting that India was dealing with the concerns of foreign teams about security.

He said: "We have learnt from each of the terrorist incidents at Lahore and Mumbai.

"We are being careful from the very start of the construction stage.
"We take security very seriously - you can be assured of that."

Article courtesy of "Inside the Games".