Rio de Janeiro, Sep 28 (IANS): The head of Brazil's Olympic Committee (COB), Carlos Arthur Nuzman, has denied any irregularities in the process of relocation of residents for the construction of highways and venues for the mega-event to be held in 2016.
In a press conference Tuesday for foreign reporters in Rio, Nuzman commented on a report published by Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing.
According to Rolnik's report, citizens from several areas of the city are being displaced so that several highways can be built for the 2014 Football World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
However, she said, those displaced citizens are being offered limited compensation and are being relocated to regions much farther from downtown.
Nuzman denied any wrongdoing in the relocation process, saying that Rolnik has never met him or other COB representatives to discuss the matter. He added that a more recent report, made by Wilfried Lemke, the UN secretary-general's special adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, praises the organisation of the event.
"All the relocations are being made either through talks or courts. Nobody is being removed by force," Nuzman was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Nuzman was also questioned in regard to the possibility of the Olympic Games budget being progressively increased over the next few years, as it occurred in the 2007 Pan American Games, whose budget underwent several changes.
According to Nuzman, though the Pan American Games' budget was higher than predicted, the sports facilities delivered to the population were of Olympic level, bigger than it was necessary to the games.
The idea, according to him, was to build sites which could also be used in the Olympic Games if Rio was selected as host city. Due to the facilities being above average, he said, almost half of the sports facilities necessary for the 2016 Games have already been built.
All sites built for the Pan American Games will be used in the Olymics, Nuzman said. Some, such as the velodrome and the Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium, which will host athletics competitions, will undergo renovations or receive temporary extra seats.
Others, such as the Maracanazinho gymnasium, which will host volleyball matches, are ready for the Games, he added.