Even as delegates started arriving in the national capital for the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, the Organising Committee (OC) found itself in a precarious situation, with drivers recruited to ferry the visitors falling ill.
The OC has put up special tents in the forest area along the Upper Ridge Road to accommodate around 100 drivers. Sources said as many as seven drivers have so far reported sick due to unhygienic conditions created by waterlogging. Of these, two drivers are suffering from dengue and two more from swine flu.
More than 300 vehicles, which will be used to ferry Games delegates, are parked near the forest area, while drivers, helpers and security guards have been accommodated in tents put up next to the vehicles.
“Drivers are falling ill due to unhygienic conditions and excessive breeding of mosquitoes as a result of heavy rains,” said a driver, who didn't wish to be named.
He said the drivers were shifted to this site last Wednesday after their training. “We were told that we will get a lot of money, but the living condition is so poor that many of us have already left their jobs. What's more, we have to visit the doctor at our own expense as the OC has not provided any health care facility,” he added.
Refuting the allegations, Ashish Kumar, Deputy Director General (Transport) of OC, said: “The whole city is reeling under dengue and the Ridge Road is no exception. Not all drivers are putting up there. There might be a few workers or helpers in those tents. We have asked the Delhi Municipal Corporation to carry out fogging in the area and are taking all preventive measures.”