Saturday, September 25, 2010

‘Games Village work may take two more days'

We will deliver a Village that would compare with the best, says Delhi Chief Minister

The work in the Commonwealth Games Village is proceeding fast but may still take another couple of days to complete, said Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who had been asked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to supervise the final clean-up operation, talking to The Hindu on Saturday.

“When we began work, the residential towers were lying unclean, a large number of glasses and other panels were broken, there was water-logging and seepage in many parts, and much of the furniture and other equipment was yet to be installed. But in the past two days work has been carried out on a war footing and we will soon be able to deliver a Village that would compare with the best,” said Ms. Dikshit, who has now stopped attending too many meetings and is devoting her time “in the field”, paying several visits a day to the Games Village.

On how the Village is gradually transforming itself into what it should have been, the Chief Minister said a large workforce has been deployed and necessary equipment brought in.

“We have roped in several hotels like The Lalit, Maurya Sheraton and Taj Group along with professional housekeeping service providers. This has definitely helped as they are coming in with equipment and cleaning up the place and helping maintain it that way. The players who have already come in, like those from New Zealand and Malaysia, are quite happy with the services on offer. I told them that I would be happier if on October 15 they'll say that they want to stay longer in India,” she said.

Besides the professionals, Ms. Dikshit said about 50 senior Delhi Government officials are regularly coordinating with the hotel managers in ensuring proper upkeep of the residential towers. “In almost all the towers we had problem of cleanliness and hygiene. Gradually they are being readied and the players are being moved into them.”

“Till Friday the refrigerators and other equipment was coming in and then there were problems about electricity connections and other such things. We are resolving these on a continuous basis,” she added.

Stating that the problem with some parts of the complex, such as certain basements, is acute, the Chief Minister said: “We are trying to clean them up as much as possible and spraying chemicals to disinfect them. Then these parts are being sealed off completely to ensure that there is no problem of mosquitoes or germs in the rest of the area.”

As far as the food being served or the international zone is concerned, Ms. Dikshit said they are in perfect order. “I have asked them to prepare meals for 1,000 additional persons daily because a large workforce is involved and it cannot work on empty stomachs. We have about 150 persons from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi involved in the cleaning work.”

Asked why the cleaning is taking more than the expected time, she said there were issues pertaining to security as well. “The people brought in for the job did not have any prior security clearance and so it was taking them long to enter the Games Village. But we have requested that their entry be expedited so that the work can end quickly.”Outside the Games Village, Ms. Dikshit said she was satisfied with the way the greenery and landscaping work has gone.

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