With just 60 days to go, the Commonwealth Games organisers are making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Corruption charges are flying thick and fast, heads are rolling and inquiries are being commissioned.
Amid all this, things like stadia preparation, logistic readiness and the like, the core areas in a giant event like the Commonwealth Games, seem to have taken a backseat. But that may not be the case.
Racing against time, the officials are already moving into the venues, whose finishing work leaves a lot to be desired. Nearly 30,000 volunteers in Noida are being trained in various disciplines to assist the Games officials. And equipment worth crores, is arriving in Delhi to be used in the Games.
The organisers have got barely two months to tidy up. And no one knows it better than them. “We have work remaining but we are not delayed as the venue preparations and other works are happening on time,” said Lalit Bhanot, Secretary General, OC. “All aspects (of the Games) will be taken care of as per international standards”.
The athletes will start reaching Delhi from September 24, but the rooms at the Games Village are still not furnished. The practice area at the Village complex is under construction. The DDA’s assurance of meeting the deadline, August end, seems like a tall order.
Tenders for washing machines, blinds and raincoats etc have been floated only recently, while a caterer for the competition venues is yet to be decided.
“The nitty-gritties of conducting the event are yet to be worked out thoroughly,” said a source at the OC. “It is the backroom arrangements that are yet on shaky grounds.”
The shape of things, as they stand, is making even the high and the mighty nervous. On Tuesday, the Cabinet Secretary, the highest executive authority, went to the Games Village and then to the Yamuna Sports Complex in East Delhi to take stock of the situation. Even the PM is concerned about how things will pan out in the coming days.
Sixty days, that is all the time that the organisers have to get their acts together and make India proud.