Rubble, filth threaten to bury C'wealth Games

Multiple ills: Several countries contemplating pullout

Rubble, filth threaten to bury C'wealth Games

Consequently, with just 11 days left for its opening, the Commonwealth Games 2010 faces the prospect of withdrawal by some of the frontline nations as cleanliness of the Games Village and the bridge collapse rattled the organisers and threatened to imperil the mega-event.

New Zealand, Canada, England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland have expressed strong resentment about the shabby status of the residential towers in the Games Village, terming them “unhealthy, uninhabitable and filthy.”
The complaints forced the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to issue a stern warning to the organisers and directing them to clean up the mess within 24 hours. But the harried organisers ontinued to defend the situation, claiming that cleanliness was a matter of perception.

Adding to their woes was the collapse of the foot overbridge being built opposite the showpiece Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium injuring 27 people.
CGF President Michael Fennell wrote to Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar asking him to take immediate steps to fix the deficiencies in the residential zone of the Village, which he said has “shocked” advance parties from New Zealand, Canada, Scotland and Ireland.

“The CGF has asked the Cabinet Secretary to immediately deploy the necessary resources to fix all the outstanding issues to an acceptable level,” Fennell said in a statement, responding to distress calls from nations appalled by the living conditions at the Village. Dave Currie, New Zealand chef de mission, was severe in his criticism.
“Two leading members of the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) have left to Delhi and we will take a call according to their observations. We also have to take into account what other nations like UK, Canada or Scotland will decide on this.

“But as of now the state of the residential block is a massive disappointment and if the Village is not ready then the athletes can’t move in. So the implication of it is quite clear isn’t it?”

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said there was no point in sending athletes to Delhi if they faced health and sanitation issues. NZOC president Mike Stanley and Secretary General Barry Maister have left for Delhi on Tuesday to assess the prevailing situation, and the Currie said their thoughts will have a major effect on the participation of New Zealand in the CWG.

“What they are frustrated by is not enough action, not enough quick action, to see that, between the time we have now and the athletes coming into the village, or even the opening of the Games, things are going to be ready,” Stanley said.
There was a similar reaction from Craig Hunter, England chef de mission, who rated the facilities in the village as significantly under the norms in an e-mail to his home federation.

 “The facilities here are significantly under the international norms. The toilets are quite filthy, and many of the residential blocks are not been properly dusted. So under the circumstances it is quite tough for the athletes to move into the village,” Hunter said in the e-mail.

“It will require massive effort from the authorities concerned to clean up the Village before September 23 when athletes are expected to move into the Village. It looks pretty bleak at the moment,” he added.

Fennel slammed the facilities in the Village as “seriously compromised.”
“Athletes will move into the Games Village on September 23 (Thursday) and we need the situation there needed to be addressed in 24 hours (by Wednesday),” Fennell said on Tuesday. He will arrive in Delhi on Thursday to assess the situation.
“The nations have been all commented favourably on the appearance of the International Zone and the main dining area. However, the condition of the residential zone has shocked people in Delhi.

“The problems are arising because deadlines for the completion of the Village have been consistently pushed out,” Fennell added.
DH News Service

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