Another scam in the waiting or is it the time for the Phoenix to rise from its ASHES. In the latest development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been understood to be interested in organizing the 2024 Olympics (the biggest sporting event in the world) in India. India is being seen as a potential Asian Superpower. The International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is supposed to meet Mr. Narendra Modi later this month to discuss India chances of hosting the 2024 Olympics. Bach has been quoted to say that, “How can we ignore a country of 1.2 billion.” He has also added that,” IOC is much more flexible and understanding now in considering venues, and is happy to have talks with Indian officials and stakeholders here during his visit.”
According to official reports, Mr. Modi has been quoted saying that, “does not want a repeat of 2010 Commonwealth Games………. He wanted to know the cost, financial implications and other details.” In 2010, the CWG took place in Delhi was a huge loss for India. From corruption scandals to incomplete work after deadline, it was criticized on all fronts. The assumed cost was about $10bn and the world class facilities built for the purpose of the games now lies practically unused.
Sports historian Prof. Boria Majumdar said, “That was a huge missed opportunity to showcase India to the world. What we remember of it is corruption and mismanagement. We’d have to consider if we can afford the Olympics and what the legacy might be,”
It is been speculated that Ahmedabad is the front runner in the race to be the host city of the games though none of the venues has been finalized yet. October, 2015 is the last date for submission of applications whereas the IOC will select probable host cities by May, 2016. The host city will be officially announced in July, 2017.
The city of Samba Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympics and then Tokyo will take the baton for the year 2020. The 2024 Olympics has created a lot of euphoria with a lot of countries known to be interested in taking the baton. Notable cities like Roma in Italy and Hamburg in Germany (Europe) have submitted official applications with Doha and Malaysia of Asia, Kenya and Morocco of Africa, France, Russia, Hungary and Turkey of Europe and Los Angeles of US are also looking to lodge bid for the most prestigious and ancient game.
Boria Majumdar has added that, “The Olympic movement claims to be a global movement and so has to come to south Asia sooner or later. Maybe 10 years ago I would have said no, but I think now mounting a bid for 2024 would be a distinct step in the right direction,”
Obviously in the recent years there have been some expensive disasters. The New York Times said that the Montreal Olympics was the costliest in its 27 centuries history which left a debt which the citizens will have to pay for 30 years. The 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympics were huge disasters too as a result of poor planning, financial mismanagement and missing deadlines.
Whereas India should look for success and submit the bid for Olympics with various infrastructure development ideas such as a multi-venue event which can bring the various projects to focus. Such as the high-speed trains or new city capitals ( for Seemandhra). This will bring in several investments for the privatization of airports, highways and ports.
Lastly, the cost-benefit analysis of the Olympics should be done on contemporary principles – where critical infrastructure is not seen as a “cost”, but an investment which creates collateral value and yields returns over decades – and not on the outdated “cash expense principles” adopted by government auditors.
India has to be rebuilt, and the Olympics of 2024 could be one among dozens of sinews for that. I would urge India’s next prime minister to just do it.