HT Image
HT Image

Commonwealth Games chief rushing to New Delhi

The head of the Commonwealth Games rushed to New Delhi today for emergency talks with top Indian officials amid widespread anger over the country's frenzied last-minute preparations for the event, due to start in little more than a week.
By HT Correspondent | AP, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 22, 2010 02:02 PM IST

The head of the Commonwealth Games rushed to New Delhi on Wednesday for emergency talks with top Indian officials amid widespread anger over the country's frenzied last-minute preparations for the event, due to start in little more than a week. Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell was to arrive on Thursday and had requested a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, federation chief executive Mike Hooper told The Associated Press.

Fennell's arrival came as organizers struggle to cope with unfinished buildings, a filthy athletes' village - where excrement was found in some rooms - a bridge collapse, an outbreak of dengue fever and numerous other problems.

On Wednesday, part of a drop ceiling inside the weightlifting venue collapsed, government officials said.

The Games, which bring together more than 7,000 athletes from the 71 countries and territories from the former British Empire every four years, was supposed to showcase India as an emerging power in the international community. Instead, it has become a major embarrassment.

Athletes were due to arrive beginning Thursday in the games village, which international sports officials have called unfinished, dirty, hobbled by numerous infrastructure problems and even "unsafe and unfit for human habitation."

"It's just filthy. ... It hasn't been cleaned," said Hooper. Scotland's team announced on Wednesday it would delay its travel to New Delhi.

He said the problems had prompted Fennell to rush to New Delhi far earlier than he had come to previous games. His emergency trip "emphasizes that this is an important issue and we obviously need to engage at the highest level to get it fixed," Hooper said. New Delhi has been a frenzy of activity in recent weeks, as the city struggles to ready itself for the Games, which begin Oct. 3. The city has had seven years to prepare, though very little work was done until 2008.

On Tuesday, hours after games officials blasted the organizers for the condition of the athletes' village, a 90-yard (-meter) pedestrian bridge leading from a parking lot to the games' main stadium collapsed, injuring 27 construction workers, five critically.

"I've never come across this before," Hooper said of the last-minute preparations. "It's very frustrating to see the delays and the fact that we've had to come right down to the wire." "We've been complaining about the delivery of the venues for nearly two years, and the constant delays," he said. The Indian media blasted its officials for the turmoil, "C'wealth Games India's Shame," The Times of India newspaper said on Tuesday in a page-one headline.

But officials continued to downplay the problems, a position that international sports officials say defies reality. "We are absolutely prepared," Cabinet Secretary K. M. Chandrasekhar, told CNN-IBN television Wednesday. Speaking of the state of the athletes' village, Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy told CNN-IBN: "Athletes and guests should not bother about such small matters," and insisted it would be immaculate when the events begin.

Referring to the collapsed pedestrian bridge, New Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told reporters: "The accident is not as big as being made out to be. We are giving adequate compensation to those injured." Dikshit is the equivalent of the city's mayor. The athletes' village is due to open Thursday, when the first competitors are to arrive in preparation for the Games. In addition to shoddy conditions inside and outside the buildings, there also are problems with plumbing, wiring, furnishings, Internet access and cell phone coverage. Hooper also confirmed reports of excrement found in the village. The games have historically been dominated by England, Australia and Canada, and all three have voiced concerns about the conditions in India.

"It's hard to cancel an event of this magnitude, but we are close to the wire, and teams may start to take things into their own hands," England chef de mission Craig Hunter told Britain's Press Association. "Athletes will start getting on planes soon and decisions will have to be made. We need new levels of reassurance." Scotland team's, the first batch of which was set to leave Thursday, delayed its departure for the games, saying it wants to give organizers time to prepare accommodation and solve the growing number of problems. Commonwealth Games Scotland chairman Michael Cavanagh said that would be put off for "a few days" Australian discus world champion Dani Samuels and England's world champion triple jumper Phillips Idowu both withdrew from the games Tuesday, citing concerns over health and security. Although no team has said it will pull out, New Zealand team manager Dave Currie had some of the strongest words for organizers. "If the village is not ready and athletes can't come, obviously the implications of that are that (the event) is not going to happen," Currie told New Zealand radio network newstalkZB. Criticism of the games have become increasingly vocal in recent weeks, with widespread accusations of corruption and mismanagement. Organizers were also struggling to cope with an outbreak of dengue fever and security worries.

Security has been increased after unidentified gunmen wounded two tourists Sunday outside one of the city's top tourist attractions. An Islamic militant group took responsibility for the shooting.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
The list is topped by Odisha, which has 23 contaminated sites, followed by Uttar Pradesh, with 21 such sites in the state and Delhi, which has 11.
The list is topped by Odisha, which has 23 contaminated sites, followed by Uttar Pradesh, with 21 such sites in the state and Delhi, which has 11.

Delhi among top 3 states with most ‘contaminated sites’

By Soumya Pillai, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 02:47 AM IST
  • The CPCB report released on Sunday said that there are over 112 sites in India that are contaminated by toxic and hazardous substances.
Close
260 patients were reported as recovered on Sunday, taking the total recoveries to 628,377 at a recovery rate of 98.01 per cent, according to data.(ANI)
260 patients were reported as recovered on Sunday, taking the total recoveries to 628,377 at a recovery rate of 98.01 per cent, according to data.(ANI)

Pandemic phase of Covid-19 is over: Jain

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 02:35 AM IST
  • An infection is said to be endemic in a population when it is constantly maintained at a baseline level in a geographic area.
Close
The AAP is in charge of Delhi government, the BJP rules all three municipal corporations. Delhi goes to municipal polls in 2022.(Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)
The AAP is in charge of Delhi government, the BJP rules all three municipal corporations. Delhi goes to municipal polls in 2022.(Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)

AAP smells a scam in Rani Jhansi flyover delay; baseless, charge, says BJP

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 02:32 AM IST
  • The BJP dismissed the allegations as “baseless” and hit back, saying that the AAP should answer why the construction of the Signature bridge in north-east Delhi faced delays.
Close
In the 2021-22 budget, the government is likely to further increase the total outlay, said the senior government official.(AFP)
In the 2021-22 budget, the government is likely to further increase the total outlay, said the senior government official.(AFP)

Shots will stay free at all Delhi govt hospitals

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 02:29 AM IST
  • Appropriate allocation of funds in this regard will be made in the upcoming Delhi budget that is likely to be presented this week, he added .
Close
Soon, Vats, a mechanical engineer by training, got down to the drawing board.
Soon, Vats, a mechanical engineer by training, got down to the drawing board.

Indian water gun manufacturers giving China a run for its money

By Manoj Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 02:23 AM IST
  • In February that year, just before Holi, he went back to the Sadar Bazar trader with the water gun he had produced and also the Chinese one.
Close
They said with the onset of summer, the department is also working on increasing the availability of water through natural channels in the Ridge for animals.
They said with the onset of summer, the department is also working on increasing the availability of water through natural channels in the Ridge for animals.

Animal-friendly Ridge with no barbed fences

By Soumya Pillai, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 02:11 AM IST
  • Experts said such initiatives will ensure that the only continuous green space in the national capital is preserved.
Close
Nine of these women, who delivered their babies in the police vehicles, have been invited to attend an event to celebrate International Women’s Day at the police headquarters on Monday.(Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)
Nine of these women, who delivered their babies in the police vehicles, have been invited to attend an event to celebrate International Women’s Day at the police headquarters on Monday.(Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)

9 who delivered babies in PCR vans to attend Women’s Day at Delhi police HQ

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 02:08 AM IST
  • A host of functions to honour women have also been scheduled at different police stations and DCP offices.
Close
Municipal polls are scheduled to be held in Delhi next year. In the bypolls to five wards, results of which were announced on March 2, the BJP could not manage to win a single seat.
Municipal polls are scheduled to be held in Delhi next year. In the bypolls to five wards, results of which were announced on March 2, the BJP could not manage to win a single seat.

BJP plans new campaign to take on AAP after bypoll loss

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 02:00 AM IST
  • Adesh Gupta has also started ‘mandal pravas’ (stay in each municipal wards) to connect with the party workers and supporters.
Close
Through Saturday-Sunday night, DMRC managing director, Mangu Singh inspected the revamped stations and also assessed the progress of work in other stations.(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)
Through Saturday-Sunday night, DMRC managing director, Mangu Singh inspected the revamped stations and also assessed the progress of work in other stations.(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

Stations on Metro’s Red line revamped

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 01:57 AM IST
  • As part of the revamp, new CCTV cameras, with better technology for improved clarity, additional escalators, bird spikes to prevent tripping of the overhead electrification (OHE) due to bird menace, were also installed.
Close
DSGMC members said patients will only have to get necessary documents. A team of specialists will monitor the patients at the facility.
DSGMC members said patients will only have to get necessary documents. A team of specialists will monitor the patients at the facility.

Gurdwara body starts dialysis hub

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 01:50 AM IST
  • The Panth Ratan Baba Harban Singh Ji Dialysis block in Bala Sahib hospital complex started treating patients from Sunday.
Close
The third grave—also of a mystic—lies in an almost-invisible corner, in a narrow gallery just by the entrance.
The third grave—also of a mystic—lies in an almost-invisible corner, in a narrow gallery just by the entrance.

Delhiwale: The shrine’s best-kept secret

By Mayank Austen Soofi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 01:15 AM IST
  • Whatever, the two ascetics are buried next to each other, separated by a neem tree. For that reason, many consider the landmark as a twin shrine.
Close
In this file picture from 2013, people gather at L - 18 Batla House after the verdict on encounter done by Delhi Police in September 2008, in New Delhi. (Mohd Zakir / Hindustan Times)
In this file picture from 2013, people gather at L - 18 Batla House after the verdict on encounter done by Delhi Police in September 2008, in New Delhi. (Mohd Zakir / Hindustan Times)

Batla House encounter: Delhi court to pronounce judgment tomorrow

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:22 PM IST
The court will pass judgment in the case of Ariz Khan, who was arrested in February 2018. Khan was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police after a decade of allegedly being on the run.
Close
A view inside the 101-bed kidney dialysis facility at Bala Sahib Hospital Complex launched by Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee, at Sarai Kale Khan in New Delhi. (Amal KS/ Hindustan Times)
A view inside the 101-bed kidney dialysis facility at Bala Sahib Hospital Complex launched by Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee, at Sarai Kale Khan in New Delhi. (Amal KS/ Hindustan Times)

DSGMC launches 'India's biggest' dialysis facility inside Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:20 PM IST
Guru Harkishan Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Kidney Dialysis Hospital will offer dialysis facility to 101 patients simultaneously and it can cater to 500 patients daily
Close
A senior police official said cops raided a restaurant-cum-bar in west Delhi's Rajouri Garden. (Representational Image)
A senior police official said cops raided a restaurant-cum-bar in west Delhi's Rajouri Garden. (Representational Image)

Delhi Police seizes hukkas from restaurant, tweets 'pawri nahi ho rahi hai'

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:12 PM IST
From his official handle on Twitter, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Prashant Gautam said, "Yehe Hum hain..Yehe Hooke Hain.. Aur ab Pawri nahi ho rahi hai.
Close
People out at India Gate lawns in the morning in New Delhi amid smog on Sunday. (Arvind Yadav/ Hindustan Times)
People out at India Gate lawns in the morning in New Delhi amid smog on Sunday. (Arvind Yadav/ Hindustan Times)

Delhi records maximum temperature at 34 degrees Celsius, air quality poor

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:37 PM IST
The minimum temperature in the city settled at 14.4 degrees Celsius while the air quality was recorded in the poor category.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP