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Commonwealth Games 2010
Latest News - Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi and New Delhi.

Delhi Games venues are safe: organisers

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has accepted as proof documents from Indian officials that all sporting venues are safe to operate but Australian building experts question the process.

CGF chief executive Mike Hooper says the time has come to "park" the issue, which erupted from claims of shoddy building practices and forged approvals.

Only nine days remain before thousands of athletes start arriving to New Delhi and just over four weeks are left before the Games kick off from October 3-14.

The Indian government and its Organising Committee (OC) on Monday delivered to Hooper occupancy certificates for all 17 venues and the athletes village.

"We got copies of the completion certificates given by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to the venue owners today, and,as promised, handed them over to Mr Hooper," OC chief executive Suresh Kalmadi said in a statement from Delhi.

"We are confident that the Commonwealth Games Federation and its members will be satisfied."

On Tuesday, the CGF confirmed receipt of the documents and has accepted them as proof that the venues and village are of sound construction and safe to operate.

"It's very positive," Hooper told AAP from Delhi.

"Now we can park that and obviously move on to other issues in getting ready for the Games."

In late July, India's anti-corruption watchdog threatened to derail preparations for the Games by citing suspected dodgy building practices and making accusations that construction firms had inflated their costs.

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) inspected 15 roadway projects and sporting venues and found substandard concrete and steel works.

The watchdog also revealed that regulatory approvals for the work had been forged.

On Tuesday, Leighton Contractors chairman Dieter Adamsas said any problems should have been flagged during construction.

Leighton is one of Australia's leading contract and development groups with a focus on large public and private infrastructure projects.

"If the thing was not being built in accordance with a contract that should have been picked up well before the thing was complete," Adamsas told AAP.

"It's a bit rich to be coming along after the event and saying `this thing is not fit for the purpose'.

"There is a mechanism right throughout the construction phase for that not to happen."

Bernie Steer, vice-president of the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors, says Australian builders must adhere to strict laws with checks and balances along the way.

"You have to follow a fairly rigorous set of criteria to get a certificate of occupancy," Steer told AAP.

"Normally, that certification is collected over the course of the construction of the building.

"I dont know what they do in India.

Hooper acknowledged that there was still work to be done on the venues, which has impacted security preparations for the sporting events.

The September 15 deadline from the Indian government to finish the venues, follows many similar deadlines over the past year that construction firms have failed to meet.

"The fact that the venues are late puts additional pressure on the Delhi police and others to do their job - that's fine," he said.

"We've all got pressure at the moment and they're just going to have to do it.

"Security preparations are on track and there's nothing to suggest any deviation from delivering a safe and secure environment."

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