September 13 - India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (pictured) is to be urged next month to take action to ensure that New Delhi is ready to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games after officials warned that preparations were falling dangerously behind.

Mike Fennell, the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), has asked Suresh Kalmadi, who is head of the local Organising Committee, to arrange a meeting next month with Singh so he can be briefed personally on what needs to be done because of concerns that not everything will be completed in time.

Fennell wrote in a letter to Kalmadi: "With only a year to run until the Games, I feel I must personally brief the Prime Minister of India on the lack of preparations and to seek his input in developing an appropriate recovery plan.

"As you know, I have asked the chairman of the Organising Committee to facilitate such a meeting on my return to Delhi in early October for our General Assembly.

"The CGF is extremely worried about the organising committee's ability to deliver the Games to any comparable standard to that of the last two editions of the Games in Manchester [2002] and Melbourne [2006].

"The Government of India has committed significant resources toward the operational delivery of the Games.

"It would be irresponsible and negligent of the Gederation not to share its concerns openly with the Government.

"I am looking forward to some urgent actions in order to bring about the successful celebration of the Games in 2010."

The CGF General Assembly is due to meet in New Delhi on October 11 to assess the work a year ahead of the Games, which are due to open on October 3, 2010.

The build-up has been overshadowed by fears that New Delhi will not be ready in time.

A Government report published last month claimed work on 14 of the 19 sports venues is running late, while nine transport projects to improve the Indian capital's congested road network are at "high risk" of not being completed by the time of the opening ceremony.

The report was the latest in a series of gloomy assessments on India's preparations to host the Games, which will feature 8,500 athletes and officials from 71 countries and territories. 

There is also predicted to be a shortfall of up to 3,000 rooms to accommodate foreign visitors because 16 hotel projects which were supposed to be ready for the Games are expected to miss their target.

But Kalmadi, who is also the President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), has 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.

He has claimed that New Delhi will stage the "best Commonwealth Games ever". 

The event is the biggest be staged in India since the 1982 Asian Games and officials hope will be a platform for New Delhi to bid for the 2020 Olympics.

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