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Contractors forced OC to pay up before shows

The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee reportedly paid dearly for its maligned reputation. Sources said, just before the opening and closing ceremonies, the OC was forced to pay contractors and set designers either in advance or higher costs.

delhi Updated: Oct 20, 2010 00:10 IST
Vijaita Singh

The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee reportedly paid dearly for its maligned reputation. Sources said, just before the opening and closing ceremonies, the OC was forced to pay contractors and set designers either in advance or higher costs.

According to sources, several contractors, set designers and a lighting firm were afraid that the OC would be disbanded right after the Games, so they asked for immediate payment. OC officials said some even tried to pull out right before the show.

“There was arm-twisting by contractors and others at the last moment, before the ceremonies,” said Jarnail Singh, chief executive officer of the OC, which would wind up its operations only in March 2011.

A senior official claimed that an international firm hired to do the lighting threatened to pull out a day before the opening ceremony because the lights were damaged. The prop desi-gners threatened they would not deliver the required material if they were not paid in full.

“On October 1, the lighting firm employees came to us dem-anding more money, as 20 per cent of their lights were damaged. They said they would not continue if they were not paid. It was an integral part of the show,” said a senior OC official. The official said set designers, too, tried to pull out the night before the closing ceremony.

“They thought the OC is a fly-by-night operator and we would disappear after the closing ceremony,” said the official. “They (contractors) knew that the show had to be conducted, so they wanted to rake in more money by arm-twisting the officials. There were last-minute glitches; some contracts were settled a night before the show.”

“In the contract we had clearly described everything. This was just not acceptable to us,” said the official.