It was a last-minute, face-saving, clean-up effort. But the thick layer of filth and faeces on the expensive Italian marble flooring in the toilets of the Commonwealth Games Village apartments was so nauseating that even professional cleaners refused to clean it up.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) categorically told the government its workers would not clean the supremely dirty toilets, sources told HT. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who visited the Village twice on Thursday, has reportedly asked the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to step in and assist the private agency that was engaged to clean the place.
“MCD staff are trained to maintain roads, collect garbage, sweep floors, even mop them. But they won’t clean the toilets. It is not their job. We decided at a meeting today that NDMC staff will supplement the private agency in cleaning rooms and toilets,” said an official.
An army of MCD sanitation workers sporting maroon aprons started cleaning the Augean stables of the Village early on Thursday.
Armed with brooms, floor mops, buckets and wheelbarrows, they moved into every nook and corner, cleaning up at a furious pace. But the toilets defeated even them.
Top officials including Delhi’s chief secretary, the Delhi Development Authority vice-chairman, the MCD and others spent hours at the Village to ensure workers did a thorough job.
The work will go on through two shifts from Friday to meet the Games deadline.
“We had to remove loose construction waste, clean up pools of accumulated stagnant water and mop the floors. We’ve carried out fogging and spraying too,” said a senior MCD official.