Pullout Threat Over CWG

September 23rd, 2010 by Ravi Matah | Posted in News, Sports   No Comments »
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News media in other countries are sceaming ‘Call the games off’ and players from a few countries have refused to participate citing filthy conditions and lack of infrastructure facilities. Athletes are due to arrive at the Games Village, New Delhi today. More than fifty athletes have withdrawn their names in recent months and it is a national embarrassment as they have refused to participate.

JLN Stadium Over-bridge

JLN Stadium Over-bridge

And to add salt to the wounds, the over-bridge outside the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium collapsed where in about thirty workers were injured, four of them critically. And now begins the blame game – one calls it bad assessment at the planning stage, others say bad execution.

Yesterday, when the news of the over-bridge at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium falling down was released on the TV channels, twitter was in full flow in condemning the organizing committee; tweeples from all over the country cried ‘shame’ on twitter and these tweets went on for more than three hours.09

The last minute preparations in completing the jobs at hand have lead to various problems for the CWG committee and add to their woes the rains have played havoc all over North India.

A day after the collapse of the over-bridge, the ceiling of the venue where the weight-lifting championships were to take place, fell down. The British tabloids screamed – ‘Now calls the games off’. These shoddy preparations have come as a blow to India’s pride.

Had these preparations been done in time, New Delhi could have used these games as a leverage to catapult the image of India to higher platforms. Just look at the example of China and their preparations they had made for the 2008 Olympics. They had done a splendid job and had handed over a first class structure for the Beijing Olympics in time.

New Zealand, Scotland and Canada are leading the way in criticising the conditions in the Games Village which they have described as “unlivable” and “filthy” as workers/labourers in the village have been accused of having access to the newly laid bathrooms.

And then to add insult to injury, an Australian reporter bought some explosives and brought them into the Games Village, walking straight past security guards, just after a threat against the games from militants claiming to be from the Indian Mujahideen. Though, this has been denied by the Indian Government.

When a work of this magnitude is being undertaken, one cannot compromise on quality and safety. The more frustrating aspect of all this is that the Delhi Chief Minister says that the bridge collapse is not a problem ‘as it was to be used by normal people only’ and that these are ‘minor glitches’ and Organising Committee Secretary General Lalit Bhanot says that the perceptions of cleanliness are different. Wow. What would have happened had this over-bridge collapsed on the inaugural day itself, which is just ten days away?

First of all we want that the games should be held properly, in the right Olympic spirit for the sake of our country’s image. Since the media, press and television, have pointed fingers directly at the corrupt officials, and heads will roll once the games are over. This Organising Committee will of course, be disbanded and the Government will have to take over the onus of fact-finding of their mis-deeds.

Worst of all, the politicians will also have to really suffer from this. A couple of people may get fired, temporarily, but no doubt they’ve made tons of money from kickbacks so they probably won’t mind. The real cost will actually be borne in the shape of embarrassment to the Indian population, who never asked for this mess in the first place.

The Central Vigilance Commission, a government watchdog, released a report in August has found evidence of widespread “procedural irregularities” and “large-scale corruption” in the awarding of contracts to developers.

The Central Vigilance Commission, the Enforcement Directorate, the Economic Offences Wing, and the Intelligence Bureau will have their plates full once the curtain comes down on the Commonwealth Games. Their plates will be full with the plethora of allegations. Even the help of the Interpol may have to be sought.

Even the politicians will not be spared and that includes the Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, who will have to face the scrutiny of the investigations. She should have ensured timely action on delinquent personnel. All other agencies  like, PWD, CPWD, DDA and MCD, involved  in the construction work of various projects will face the full blast of the investigations. It will be an omnibus enquiry and will have to be conducted vociferously to satisfy the people of this country and do some repair to our fractured image.

We are waiting to see what happens after the games are over.

Ravi Matah.

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