Fennell boost to Village works

Progress has been made, says CGF President

Fennell boost to Village works

Fennell, who arrived in Delhi on Thursday evening, spent nearly three hours at the Games Village on the banks of Yamuna, assessing the situation in the controversy-ridden residential blocks before expressing satisfaction over the progress of cleaning work in the area.

Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, secretary general Lalit Bhanot, Indian Olympic Association president Randhir Singh and CGF CEO Mike Hooper accompanied Fennell on his trip to the Village. In a further boost to the wilting image of the Games, England’s hockey and lawn bowls teams arrived in the City on Friday.

But the biggest positive to emerge was Fennell’s favourable comments about the state of the Village. “It is good to be in Delhi, and the briefing I received from my CEO, Mike Hooper, last night was that considerable improvements have been made within the Village, with further significant resources deployed by Delhi Chief Minister, Mrs Dikshit, to make good what was a concerning situation,” Fennell said in a statement.

“We must ensure that a suitable environment is provided to ensure the welfare of the athletes and their support staff. It’s vital that all remedial work that has already started continues with the greatest urgency,” Fennell said.

It may be recalled that Fennell had sharply criticised the residential blocks in the Games Village after England, New Zealand, Wales, Scotland, Canada and Ireland expressed grave concerns about the state of the blocks, terming them ‘filthy and uninhabitable’.

The CGF chief also held parleys with Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrashekar in the afternoon, apprising him of his visit to the Village and expressing satisfaction over the work, under the watchful eyes of Central and Delhi Governments officials, completed in the last couple of days.

“There were areas of concern in the residential blocks of the Games Village. But a lot of progress has been made in the last couple of days and hopefully, things will get a much more settled look in the coming days. The CGF is quite happy with the urgency shown in attending to the concerns of the nations about the Village,” Fennell is learnt to have told Chandrashekar during their meeting.

Fennell will continue to keep an eye on the on-going sanitation work in the Games Village. Kalmadi, senior officials of the Delhi Government and Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehra were present during the meeting. Delhi police commissioner YS Dadwal also attended the meeting. It is learnt that the police commissioner briefed Chandrashekar and Fennell about the security measures that will be in place at the Games Village, the competition and practice venues and also about the general security during the Games.

Dadwal informed the top officials that 40 percent of the Delhi police force had been deployed to ensure tight security during the quadrennial mega show. “There’s nothing to fear about the security during the Games. We have deployed 40 percent of our force for the CWG and there’s no reason to worry about anything. We have been preparing for this event for a while now and there will be tight security for athletes, officials and spectators during the CWG,” he said.

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