Sports Minister M.S. Gill on Tuesday hinted at the “absence of a clear chain of command” for the Commonwealth Games as one of the reasons for numerous problems bedevilling its preparations.
Winding up a two-day debate, Gill told the Lok Sabha that, unlike the CWG, the preparations for the Asian Games in Delhi in 1982 were supervised by a panel led by Rajiv Gandhi.
“There was a clear chain of command then. But for the CWG we had to go by pact arrived with the Commonwealth Games Federation in 2003. It earmarked roles for the Centre, Indian Olympic Committee and the Delhi administration.”
Gill said the IOA is organising the games with the Centre and the Delhi government as its “back-up”, unlike the 1982 Asiad, “when the government had taken up responsibility of hosting the event”.
Gill’s advice that the Opposition’s queries on CWG expenses come through RTI applications angered the BJP.
“Is the RTI more important than Parliament?” asked Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, leading a walkout by her party members.
Like Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy the previous day, Gill put up a strong defence of the CWG preparations, assuring Lok Sabha that the infrastructure — even if delayed — would be ready soon.
Gill said his ministry was behind the sacking of CWG Organising Committee Joint Director General T.S. Darbari and suspension of some other officials for alleged irregularities.
“Now that the groom is waiting at the gates for exchange of vows, should the bride break the relations at this hour.”
Elaborating on the construction of stadia, Gill said the shooting, cycling and swimming venues built by the sports ministry were “great”.
“The design is forward-looking. I will take our MPs on a trip,” he said.
He played down the media’s criticism of rain-related problems at the stadia, saying: “Even when you build a home, your wife tends to complain for the first six months.”
Officials have been deputed at the stadia to keep a watch and fix issues if any.
The debris is being removed on war footing and lawns and trees are being laid, he added.