The Commonwealth Games organisers are on a last-minute lookout for about 1,600 extra hotel rooms to house technical officials, who were supposed to be housed at the upcoming flats in Vasant Kunj by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
They have initiated talks with one- and two-star hotels in Delhi to negotiate the lowest possible rates after they got signal from multiple quarters in the Union government, including the Cabinet Secretariat, that the flats might not be in ideal living condition in time for the Games.
The last-minute search for the rooms has had a negative effect on negotiations as sources said hotels have been quoting exorbitant tariffs knowing well that the OC requires these rooms. But the OC has been able to bring down the rates to somewhat agreeable levels and have even booked some rooms.
"We are looking for rooms for both foreign as well as Indian technical officials," said Moti Irani, head of the accommodation functional area of the OC.
"We have reasons to believe that we will need these rooms as the Vasant Kunj flats might not be ready."
Officially, though, the DDA is still hopeful that it will be able to deliver 1,600 of the 2000-odd flats to the OC. "As far as we are concerned, the flats will be ready in exactly the condition the OC had asked for," said DDA spokeswoman Neemo Dhar.
The DDA was supposed to hand over the flats with full furnishing by the Indian Tourism Development Corporation by September.
"Even if they finish the flats, they will not be in great condition. There are problems with power backup, water logging, and the general finish of the property," said a senior official on condition of anonymity.
The Vasant Kunj flats have been entangled in controversy ever since a union of DDA engineers issued statements earlier last month that the flats would not be finished. That was followed by the DDA Vice Chairman A.K. Nigam clarifying the agency would deliver the flats as promised.