Fennell lands in New Delhi, Kalmadi stays cool

Fennell lands in New Delhi, Kalmadi stays cool

But the man in the eye of storm, Suresh Kalmadi, did not look flustered one bit while arriving to welcome Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Thursday.

Fennell will visit the Games Village on Friday to assess the prevailing situation in the residential blocks. The residential blocks in the Games Village, house to 7,000 athletes and officials during the 19th edition of the mega event, have attracted worldwide ire after foreign delegates founding them unkempt. However, Organising Committee chairman Kalmadi said the chef de missions from other countries were happier now with the progress of cleaning work in the Games Village.

“They are much happier with the state of the residential blocks in the Games Village now. I had a meeting with them in the afternoon. I am confident everything will be alright by today and I promise to deliver you a good Games,” Kalmadi told reporters, breaking his silence for the first time since the controversy over the state of the residential towers in the Village began.

“The first 18 blocks that were handed over to the Australians were excellent. They were as good as the International Zone and the dining area. There were problems in the last 18 blocks and we have employed a larger workforce there. I am confident everything will be sorted out by today,” he said.

“Nothing surprises me now. I know how to take all the criticism in my stride and I am sure everybody is going to enjoy the Games,” Kalmadi added. The CWG supremo also said all possible measures had been taken to ensure the highest level of security for athletes, officials and spectators during the Games.

“I have said this before also, that Delhi Police have taken all possible steps to ensure maximum security during the event for all parties concerned. There will be top-class security for the athletes as each and every bus will be escorted by police from the Village to the competition venue and vice-versa. There will also be policemen inside the bus. If somebody has some other perception, then I can’t do anything about it,” he said.

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