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Travel chaos spiralling; no solution in sight

india Updated: Oct 04, 2010 01:25 IST
Sharad Deep

Travel chaos at the Commonwealth Games continued to haunt athletes, officials and technical delegates even on Sunday, the day of the opening ceremony and the eve of the start of the competitive events.

With more car and bus drivers continuing to quit, the smooth running of events seems quite difficult.

Both the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the Delhi Government reportedly took note of the Hindustan Times highlighting the issue on Sunday and asked the Organising Committee (OC) office to "pull up their socks" and bring things under control before the start of the events.

"Our repeated requests for basics such as decent food and genuine working hours fell on deaf ears and under such circumstances, going back to work isn't possible," said car driver Somendra Jangid, who came here from Jodhpur.

"The food packets being supplied to us seem of dubious quality, and some were stale." said Jangid, adding that many drivers were still unpaid.

The protest of car drivers, especially those deputed to ferry technical and foreign delegates of the T1 category, seems to have worsened but Special Director General Jiji Thomson's office is tight-lipped over the issue.

"We are not authorised to comment officially, but one thing I can assure you is that we are trying our best to put things in order," said an officer of Thomson's office on condition of anonymity.

"We have been receiving complaints about drivers missing the routes, and delays in the movement of cars. Last evening, some car drivers took three hours to finish a scheduled 30 minute journey."

He, however, confirmed that no transport help desk had been set up at hotels housing the technical delegates so far.

Meanwhile, sources also told HT "the transport department at the OC was issuing car passes on Sunday without taking proper security verification measures".

Finally, some free tickets

On a happier note, at least for many members of the OC work force, they were given free tickets worth Rs 25,000 each.

Hindustan Times had mentioned that people working towards the success of the Games had not been given due recognition.

"It was a genuine demand, but till Saturday evening we were refused free tickets even when many tickets to the opening ceremony remained unsold," said a member of work force. "This is good".