Indian fiasco likely at the Commonwealth Games

The mess that is the organisation and preparation of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi is going from bad to worse. Every day there are new instances of rampant corruption, new examples of the venal attitude of all the organising committee and the surrounding politicians, collapsing architecture, cases of child labour, withdrawal of athletes and maybe even countries, security fears, uninhabitable and unhygienic athletes accommodation, traffic chaos and now even potential flooding after a prolonged and vigorous monsoon.

India is known for the “last minute” fix but is also known for  the “last mile syndrome” where the final 5% never gets completed. The organising committee and the Delhi politicians are busy pointing fingers and the Central Gov’t has been forced to step in.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has stepped in to clear the Commonwealth Games mess. Singh has called Union Sports Minister MS Gill and Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy for urgent consultations.

A view of the 2010 Commonwealth Games Village in New Delhi. Certain players have asked for a different accodomation as they found the Village 'unliveable.'

2010 Commonwealth Games Village:players have asked for a different accodomation as they found the Village 'unliveable.'

On a day of embarrassment for Delhi and with 11 days to go for the Commonwealth Games, the incomplete and “filthy” Games Village came in for severe criticism from foreign delegates and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

The finger pointing and posturing is getting ugly. Meanwhile, Congress MP and former Union sports minister Mani Shankar Aiyar has slammed the Commonwealth Games Federation top bosses – Mike Fennell and Mike Hooper saying they have no right to criticise the Games.

This threatens to be a national embarrassment.

I live in hope but whether something can be salvaged from this fiasco remains to be seen.

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