Few hours to save CWG reputation
At a high-level meeting held last evening Prime Minister Manmohan Singh directed Union Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy and members of the Group of Ministers (GoM) to keep strict supervision on pending work related to Commonwealth Games.
The meeting was also attended by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Union Sports Minister MS Gill and Union Home Secretary GK Pillai. Suresh Kalmadi, the Chief of the Organising Committee (OC) was not part of this meeting.
The president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mike Fennell, on arrival in India has expressed satisfaction at the progress of the corrective work. However, in an official statement, he emphasised, "We must ensure that a suitable environment is provided to ensure the welfare of the athletes and their support staff. It is vital that all remedial work that has already started continues with the greatest urgency."
After heavy criticism for the poor conditions at the Games Village and other venues, officials at the helm of affairs had went into a damage control mode. Officially, they have been given time till the end of Sep 24 to complete the repair work. Accordingly, only a few hours are left before the venue is handed over.
Foreign sportsepersons and officials have started arriving for the games. The OC welcomed 47 sportspersons and team officials of the England hockey and lawn bowls teams as the first overseas contingent to arrive here for the Commonwealth Games.
"I’m not satisfied with the CWG preparations," the Delhi CM told reporters after the New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie accepted an alternative housing block offered by Games officials. Incidentally, he had said that there was still considerable work to be done before the official village opening on Thursday.
Not surprisngly, Delhi was voted as the wrong choice to host the CommonWealth Games by a survey conducted by TripAdvisor. According to Sharat Dhall, Managing Director, TripAdvisor India said,‘‘There has been a lot of interest in the Games in India. So, we wanted to find out what the international travelling community thought of the Delhi Games 2010, and commissioned the survey. The image of the city has taken a beating, especially in the backdrop of the government’s inability to project the works it has done to make the city better.’’
Meanwhile, the Queen’s baton is currently in "Jaisalmer, Rajasthan" and will leave for Bikaner on Sep 25.