Embattled organisers sweep concerns aside

Standard of cleanliness is a matter of perception, says Bhanot

The Organising Committee Secretary General, who looked flustered, began repeating the now-familiar line about the high-standard of facilities: “I have seen many Villages abroad and I can tell you that this facility is world class. We understand the concern of some of the member countries. But I assure them that everything will be under control and we promise to deliver a high-quality Village on September 23.”

But why they need to wait till September 23, the day when athletes are expected to move in to the Village, to apply finishing touches to the property?
Games Village Mayor Major Dalbir Singh (retd), who accompanied Bhanot, answered the query, “The claims of Mr Hooper (CGF CEO) are wrong. The Games Village is a world class facility. The cleanliness is an on-going process and with a lot workers being employed there, it’s quite natural to see some stains or dirt there. But everything will be alright on September 23.”

Hooper, also the CGF representative in India, had echoed his superior Mike Fennell’s views while slamming the state of the residential blocks.

“We have emphasised the importance of addressing the issue of cleanliness,” Hooper had said earlier in the day at a press conference.

“We are disappointed to find ourselves in this situation with just two days to go for athletes to start arriving. We have given promises which are not adhered to. We were told everything will be fine by September 19 and there have been some progress but certainly insufficient to satisfy the delegates who are here,” he added.

“Some flats are filthy and uninhabitable. The main issue here is cleanliness which came to our attention during our first visit to the Village on September 15 and we have informed the OC about it. We are in talks with the OC regularly since then.

“I hope the Government of India will intervene. I am pleased to know that the Cabinet Secretary himself visited the Village this morning. That show they are serious about the entire episode, it’s serious,” Hooper said.

Clean rooms

Bhanot made light of the issue of cleanliness raised by some of the foreign delegates by simply saying, “The idea about cleanliness differ from each other. The rooms of the Games village are clean according to you and me, but they (foreign delegates) have some other standard of cleanliness,” Bhanot said.

So, was it a statement by Bhanot that Indian standard of cleanliness is inferior to the Europeans? “I just wanted to say that Games Village will be ready by September 23,” Bhanot said after struggling for a few moments.

The media was taken on a guided tour to the dining area and the International Zone in the Games Village on September 16, and now on hindsight the whole exercise appear to be an effort to cover-up the inadequacies. But Bhanot denied any such intentions.

“You all saw the areas and they are world class,” Bhanot fumbled before avoiding questions about why the media was not given access to the rest of the Village.
The seasoned administrator was also of the opinion that the entire episode of was a rather minor issue and it has certainly not brought any shame to the country.

“It happens everywhere before such major Games. Good that it happened now and it will not affect the Games in anyway. This is a rather minor issue and there is nothing to be ashamed of,” he added.

Really, Mr Bhanot?

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