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Not enough men to clean up mess

The big job of keeping all the Commonwealth Games venues, and not just the Games Village clean is in a mess.

delhi Updated: Sep 23, 2010 00:47 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

The big job of keeping all the Commonwealth Games venues, and not just the Games Village clean is in a mess. Organising Committee officials have found the performance of two main Indian vendors for cleaning work —Kalpataru and A2Z — shoddy. Kalpataru, which is in charge of cleaning the Games Village residential towers numbered 16 to 34 — found to be filthy by a number of foreign delegates — has been given a dressing down and the OC has decided to rope in more agencies.

Highly placed sources confirmed that the cleaning of the Village stopped abruptly for some time around 10 days ago because labourers went on an on-the-spot flash strike over the demand for wages.

Sources said that large-scale attrition coupled with a supposed shortage of labourers in Delhi have prevented the two vendors from deploying the required manpower.

A2Z, which has the contract for cleaning close to 60 of the CWG-controlled premises - including the main competition venues and outside the residential areas of the Village for a whopping Rs 20 crore-had promised to deploy 5,000 people.

"Accreditation cards were kept aside for them, but so far only around 2,000 have turned up. Labourers have been leaving over payment issues," said a senior OC official on the condition of anonymity.

The vendors are hiring labourers who lack the skills for such work but there is not time to train them, OC sources said.

"There is no accountability on the resources because the contracts of the vendors do not specify the number of machines they would deploy or the amount of consumables they would use for the money they are charging," he said.

On top this, the Australian consultant hired for cleaning, waste management and catering-David Payne-has gone back to home and no one at the sites have any clue what he did. A desperate OC has now asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to lend manpower from its sanitation department.

But the OC has to stick to the vendors despite poor service delivery because of accreditation issues.

"There is no time to carry out accreditation of the staff of new vendors. We are just bringing in more agencies for the current cleaning drive," said Lt. Gen. Ashok Kapoor (Rtd), the OC man in charge of the Games Village. A2Z Joint Managing Director Anil Soni refused to comment. "We cannot tell you anything. Please speak to the OC," he said.

Organising Committee Secretary General Lalit Bhanot said there was no problem. "We have deployed 700 people at the Village on Wednesday. The job of one of the vendors at the Village was not good. The one at the other venues is doing a fine job," he said.