When trouble comes, it comes in heaps. This is what the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee is realising with 10 days to go for the mega event. After complaints of ‘unliveable’ conditions at the Games Village and a foot overbridge collapsing outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday, nine tiles of the false ceiling at the weightlifting venue came off on Wednesday, creating panic.
Collapsing roofs have become a norm rather than an exception, but the CPWD superintendent engineer, in-charge of the venue, R. Kala, said nonchalantly, “We were here till 11 pm on Tuesday and everything was fine. It must have happened after we left.”
He added that the calcium silicate tiles — of two ft by two ft dimension covering the aluminum frame below the roof — must have come off for reasons other than rain.
The place where the tiles fell was inches away from the seating arrangement for the referees.
“I don't think rains are the reason for it, because had that been the case, all the 15,000-odd tiles in the arena would have come off. Someone must have walked on the catwalk at night displacing the tiles.”
He, however, failed to explain who could have walked on the roof in the dead of the night. Kala said the tiles would be fixed by Wednesday evening.
The venue had also come under criticism on the day of its inauguration on August 1, with water seepage being reported along the walls. The Urban Development Minister, Jaipal Reddy, as well as the Sport Minister, MS Gill, had then assured that everything would be in place before the Games.
Almost every venue, which will be used during the Games, has come under criticism. The false ceiling at the Yamuna Sports Complex table tennis hall had collapsed in July, while heavy seepage was reported at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium. The 25m and 50m halls at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges too suffered the brunt of the rains after water accumulated on the roofs in the absence of a proper drainage system.