Commonwealth Games Federation chief Mike Fennell on Friday inspected the Commonwealth Games Village in New Delhi and said "considerable improvements" have been made there even as embattled organisers continued their sprint against time to complete preparations for the October 3-14 event.
"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 Shiela Dikshit, to make good what was a concerning situation," Fennell said in a statement.
Fennell, accompanied by Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, Secretary General Randhir Singh CGF CEO Mike Hooper, took stock of the arrangements at the athletes Village, which was dubbed "filthy and uninhabitable" by
visiting international delegates a couple of days ago.
His statement came even as the first batch of 22 English athletes landed in the capital but headed to hotels instead of
the Village as their living area is still not ready.
The CGF boss, who was unimpressed with the pace of the work and even shot off a letter to the Cabinet Secretary a few days ago, also briefed the delegates about the work.
Fennell will meet Cabinet Secretary, K M Chandrasekhar this afternoon. "I am looking forward to spending the morning with my colleagues from the Commonwealth Games movement and evaluating the situation with all the key stakeholders," Fennell said.
"I am certainly pleased to arrive in Delhi with the news that Australia has moved into the Village to get ready for the arrival of their athletes, and with the confirmation late on Thursday that England and Wales will be on their way to Delhi shortly.
"Already so many athletes from around the Commonwealth have started their journey to Delhi. Our job across the next
week is to help ensure that all the corrective work is completed in good time," he added.
Fennell said the organisers have to provide a good environment for the visiting athletes and officials. "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," Fennell said. However, the grim build-up to the Games continued with four top British cyclists, including world champion Welshman Geraint Thomas, pulling out of the event along with New Zealand's Greg Henderson. See cartoon
The New Zealand delegation will take another 24 hours before deciding whether to compete at the event.