Faced with criticism of “unliveable conditions” in the Commonwealth Games Village, the Organising Committee (OC) came up with an extraordinary response. Replying to the charge that the flats in the Village were unclean, with dusty rooms and filthy toilets, OC secretary general Lalit Bhanot said “hygiene standards were different for different people”.
Clearly unhappy with the OC, Games Federation CEO Mike Hooper said “a lot of work needed to be done”. The OC has 36 hours to clean up its act — athletes start arriving Thursday.
“New Zealand and Scotland have been the most critical. Though they may have ruled out pulling out, their statements were strongly worded and must be taken seriously,” Hooper said.
Hooper, however, refused to speculate about the possible cancellation of the Games.
The OC said there was no such threat. “The Games will go ahead as scheduled,” Bhanot said. But the CGF is clearly not leaving it to chance or the OC. With less than 48 hours before the athletes start checking in, CGF chief Mike Fennel has written to the Cabinet Secretary on Monday. “Fennell has taken up the matter with the authorities when things were not moving in the right direction,” Hooper said. Since Thursday, when the delegates arrived and first inspected the village, they were told that it will be sorted out, but nothing has been done since.
“The athletes start arriving on the 23rd and there is a lot that needs to be done,” said Hooper.
“Changing around accommodation blocks will not help. The facilities that have been promised must be delivered. That is not the case at the moment,” he said.
Hooper also said that Fennel will arrive in the Capital on the 23rd, earlier than scheduled, to assess the situation, although by that stage it might be too late for any major work.