PM holds urgent meet of ministers, Games officials

At the 90-minute meeting, Singh reportedly expressed unhappiness over the way the OC prepared for the Games and asked the Union Urban Development Ministry to play a key role in the upkeep of the Games Village, which would house sportspersons from the Commonwealth nations, and other facilities. Kalmadi was conspicuously absent, triggering speculations of him being sidelined.

Singh put to rest rumours that he would meet Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Michael Fennell who is arriving here on Friday to oversee the City’s facilities for the Games. Instead, he has asked Union Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar to meet Fennell and apprise him of the state-of-affairs.

Apart from Chandrashekhar, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, Union Home Secretary G K Pillai, Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy, Sports Minister M S Gill, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit were also present at the meeting.

Dikshit, Reddy, Gill and Khanna were extensively quizzed by the Prime Minister on the City’s readiness to host the Games, sources said.

“The Prime Minister was briefed about the state of preparedness of the Commonwealth Games. He was told that every effort is being made to prepare the facilities and the Village to the expected standards. Our guests will be treated to the best traditions of Indian hospitality,” Khanna later told newsmen.

The meeting comes two days after top teams such as Canada, Scotland and New Zealand delayed their departure to the Indian capital alleging substandard facilities and a looming security threat.

The first multi-sport international event being held in India since the 1982 Asian Games threatens to become a national embarrassment with several top athletes already pulling out and some more adopting a wait-and-watch policy before taking a final call.
DH News Service

Kiwi outfit cleans up towers
Dissatisfied with the upkeep at the Commonwealth Games Village, New Zealand is utilising the services of a specialised outfit to clean up the residential tower where its athletes and officials would be put up, PTI reports from New Delhi.
The team armed with cleaning equipment and liquid solutions have commenced their work at the Games Village.

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