New Zealand today joined the growing list of countries delaying their departure for the Commonwealth Games here even as two Canadian archers became the latest to pull out of the troubled event, the organisers of which are now in a mad scramble to complete the preparations.
On yet another embarrassing day marked by pullouts and criticism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called a meeting with Sports Minister M S Gill and Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy, who also heads the Group of Ministers overseeing the preparations for the Games, to discuss the crisis.
Even as embarrassed organisers raced against time to get the Games Village, which was dubbed "filthy and uninhabitable" by international delegates, ready for accommodating the athletes, OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi surfaced after lying low for two days to claim that "everything will be ready by today".
The Games Village, which has turned out to be a major embarrassment, saw the first batch of Indian athletes moving in while their international counterparts are expected to so tomorrow.
Amid the chaos, Commonwealth Games Federation chief Mike Fennell also checked in to take stock of the preparations and even sought a meeting with the Prime Minister, which has not yet been granted.
New Zealand joined Canada, Scotland and Wales to delay their travel plans to India while a couple of Canadian archers -- Kevin Tataryn and Dietmar Trillus -- pulled out citing health and safety concerns.
New Zealand's contingent for the Games might base itself in Singapore till the athletes village is made fully ready for the teams to move in.
New Zealand Olympic Committee said the travel plans of the team have been altered as there is a "long list of outstanding issues".
"... the village will now not be ready for New Zealand athletes to move in as planned. It is tremendously disappointing. We know how hard this must be for athletes and we're continuing to push...for an urgent resolution," NZOC president Mike Stanley said.