3 Oct 2010

Commonwealth Games to open amid tight security

10:04 pm on 3 October 2010

The Commonwealth Games will officially start in a few hours with a lavish opening ceremony at the main stadium in Delhi, amid a massive security operation.

After weeks of headlines dominated by the calamitous preparations for the games, some 4,700 athletes will finally get down to the business of bidding for sporting glory in a few hours time.

The BBC reports details of the three-hour ceremony in the renovated Nehru Stadium have been kept secret, but Indian broadcaster CNN-IBN reported that it would showcase Indian cultural traditions and include a yoga performance.

Prince Charles has begun an official visit to India, during which he will represent the Queen at the opening.

Tight security

The ABC reports an estimated 100,000 police and paramilitary are stationed at stadiums, luxury hotels and metro stations.

The Indian government has ordered shops, malls and markets to close during the day and many city streets are shut to traffic.

Extensive detours are being put in place. Residents in some places have been told to expect a trip of normally 25 minutes to take at least 2½ hours.

Spectators at the opening ceremony are being warned to brace themselves for long waits at the stadium as they go through three layers of security, including body searches.

Some 3500 police and security personnel will be on duty at the Games stadium, which will also be guarded by 230 commandos.