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Parihaka
22 Sep 10,, 00:56
Delhi in doubt over safety fears (http://www.smh.com.au/sport/delhi-in-doubt-over-safety-fears-20100921-15lgf.html?autostart=1)



THE viability of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi has again been thrown into question after a footbridge near the main stadium collapsed, injuring more than 20 people, and Australia's world champion discus thrower, Dani Samuels, withdrew over security and health concerns.

And in another blow to the credibility of the event, a senior Games official made a withering attack on standards in the athletes' village.



In unprecedented criticism of Delhi's facilities, the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mike Fennell, said the newly built village had been seriously compromised and conditions in the residences had "shocked the majority" of overseas officials.

His concerns were echoed by New Zealand's chef de mission, who raised the possibility that the event would have to be cancelled.

"The reality is that if the village is not ready and athletes can't come, the implications are that it's not going to happen," Dave Currie said. ''I think they are in severe difficulties it's going to be extremely hard to get across the line.''



While Australian officials have described the conditions for athletes as "very dirty" and raised concerns about poor communications within the village, the Herald understands these will not stop the planned arrival of athletes in Delhi from next Monday.

But other athletes may decide to follow Samuels's lead and turn their back on the Games.

A spokeswoman for Athletics Australia, Erin Carter, said: "This is the first athlete who has withdrawn for health and safety reasons and we are not aware that any other competitors are planning to pull out. But I suppose there are 10 days to go before it all begins so we'll have to wait and see.''



Samuels's coach, Denis Knowles, said her withdrawal was ''not an easy decision'' and was due in part to the recent shooting of two tourists in the Indian capital and an outbreak of dengue fever.

Officials from the Scottish, Canadian and Northern Irish teams have also complained about conditions in the village. Some reportedly described the residences as ''unliveable''.

The Games have been plagued by construction delays and allegations of corruption.

Mr Fennell went over the head of the Games organising committee and sent a letter raising his concerns to the Indian government's top official, the Cabinet Secretary, K. M. Chandrashekar, who visited the village yesterday to assess the problems.

The chief executive of the federation, Mike Hooper, told the Herald yesterday that about three-quarters of the village was "just filthy" and the need for electrical and plumbing maintenance was widespread.

"There has been some improvement in the village in the past four or five days but not enough to welcome all the athletes of the Commonwealth,'' he said.

The Australian chef de mission, Steve Moneghetti, who is due to fly from Melbourne to India next weekend, said organisers had ''two days to do what is probably going to take about two weeks'' to fix the village, which he said was ''probably not up to Western standards''.

But Perry Crosswhite, the head of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association, remains keen to see the troubled event go ahead.

A spokesman for the association said last night: ''After the meeting of the various chef de missions that are already there this morning, Perry says the attitude among the delegates was that they are committed to do everything they can to make the Games work''.

The vice-chairman of the organising committee, Randhir Singh, said: ''I can assure everyone there is no cause for worry.''

''We are working round the clock to take care of any problems. When the athletes arrive here they will find an excellent facility.''

Organisers have reportedly employed 800 workers for cleaning and maintenance at the village.

Parihaka
22 Sep 10,, 01:07
India confident of cleaning up Com Games mess (http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/commonwealth-games/4153911/Cleanup-confidence-high)



Criticism is mounting but Indian Commonwealth Games officials are adamant they can have the athletes' village cleaned for the arrival of competitors tomorrow.

They were given a massive wakeup call by New Zealand officials expressing their horror at the unclean state of accommodation – a stance backed up by Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell.

And this morning Canada and Scotland joined in, levelling some damning criticism at the state of the village facilities.

But the organising committee has remained stoic despite the issue jeopardising the games which are due to start on October 3.

Organising committee spokesman Lalit Bhanot said: "Foreigners have different standards of cleanliness."

He told the Times of India newspaper: "It is not such a big issue which we should be ashamed of. This will not affect the games.

"We were aware of this issue (cleanliness) and we have already started our work. 70 percent of work on cleaning the residential blocks has been completed, we will complete the remaining in 36 hours.

"We had set the target that all work will be over by September 23 before the arrival of athletes. It still stands, all work will be completed before arrival of athletes. Only thing left is the deep cleaning of the Village. All cleaning work will be completed before the arrival of the athletes.''

That "deep cleaning" is something being demanded by Games chiefs.

"It is not a question of construction, it’s just a matter of filth," Commonwealth Games Organising CEO Mike Hooper told Radio New Zealand this morning.

A New Zealander, he said the problems raised around the Games Village were serious but he remained confident the games would open.

"It is a serious matter," he said, noting individual apartments were often disgusting with filth in many individual towers.

"It needs a massive commercial deep clean of each of the towers," he said.

The Commonwealth Games head Mike Fennell had written to the Indian Cabinet demanding action and this was expected to begin later today.

"We expected a clean environment for the athletes to prepare."

In the case of the New Zealand village, cleaners from the New Zealand High Commission had tried cleaning up, but they had been defeated and the team accommodation was moved to another tower.

Many countries had expressed "real concern" around the state of the village.

"It’s got to be fixed," he said.

Athletes cannot move in until they are clean.

"(Indian authorities) have got to move on it and take it seriously."

Canada's games president Dr Andrew Pipe said the village is "unliveable".

"I'm very deeply disappointed with the reactions of the Indian government and the organising committee to this point," Pipe told Toronto media in a conference phone call.

"They reflect a certain level of indifference that borders on the intransigent.

Ad Feedback "They have been glacial in responding to the concerns that have been raised by my colleagues and I for weeks, and indeed months, leading up to these Games.

"This would have been an opportunity for India to shine, instead I think it risks considerable national embarrassment unless some of these deficiencies can be addressed."

"It is not ready for habitation yet," said Scott Stevenson, the CGC sporting director.

"Some deficiencies are fairly extensive.

"There have been issues to getting power to some areas and once that is completed we will focus on a very, very thorough cleaning"

CGC will make decisions now on a daily basis.

"If we are 100 percent confident that they will be able to be housed properly upon their arrival (we will go ahead), if not we will look into alternative arrangements in terms of time of departure."

Scotland's Games organisation said the Delhi village specifications had been promised to be of the highest standard, surpassing anything that had gone before, but the reality was quite different.

"... on arrival in Delhi on Thursday last week, Team Scotland officials found that building works had fallen seriously behind schedule and that its allocated accommodation blocks were far from finished and in their view, unsafe and unfit for human habitation,'' it said in a statement.

"After representation to the organising committee, Scotland was reallocated finished accommodation, but which still required serious cleaning and maintenance to bring it up to the necessary Games-ready standards.

"This has now been largely addressed by the Scotland team management, cleaning the seven-story tower block from top to bottom themselves with assistance from Delhi Games volunteers.

"However many of the other blocks in the Residential Zone still remain in a highly unsatisfactory state ... During the last few days, despite repeated promises, only slow progress has been made, to the extent that there are now grave concerns as to whether the village as a whole will meet the health and safety standards required to host all 71 CGAs and their 6,500 team members, which are due to start arriving on 23 September."

Meanwhile Bhanot claimed to local media that much of the issues were about relative standards when questioned over the state of cleanliness of the residential blocks at the village.

"For us and for you it is clean. But they (the foreign countries) have a different standard of cleanliness. It is a matter of difference in perception."

That was being addressed.

"We have now upgraded the level of cleanliness which should be there according to them. So we are looking into everything and we will deliver the Games. No country has said they are not coming," he said.
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All the assurances have not come quick enough for world discus champion, Dani Samuels. The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that the negativity surrounding Delhi in relation to terrorism and disease had affected the 22-year-old's health and training and she had withdrawn from the Australian team.
Looks like there's going to be some very busy people over the next 24 hours

Blademaster
22 Sep 10,, 01:32
What happened was that the bathrooms for the laborers were removed when they were still in the process of retrofitting the apts with furnishings and turned off the water and thus the laborers were suddenly left without running water and functional bathrooms and therefore left "high" and "dry" so to speak. When they had to go, you can probably imagine what happened. They just need to send in plumbing and cleaning crews and it should be okay. I strongly suspect that this is a case of overexaggeration.

Parihaka, is New Zealand really serious about pulling out?

Parihaka
22 Sep 10,, 01:54
Parihaka, is New Zealand really serious about pulling out?

No not at all. Dave Currie is calling it like it is in an effort to get the organisers to pull finger and the other team managers are backing him up because they're not happy either. His original comment was 'the games couldn't go ahead if the athletes had nowhere livable to stay', rather than 'we're pulling out because it's too messy'.
It's just not a good look moving officials into accomodation where there's shyt all over the floor and the plumbing isn't turned on. The NZ officials and embassy staff tried cleaning it themselves but gave up after a few hours when they still couldn't get the water turned on.
Like I said, a serious days work by hundreds if not thousands of cleaners should do the trick from what I've heard. There's a few other issues where the shower doors have been hung the wrong way and the electrical wiring is exposed but again some serious work should do the trick. They haven't got ten days to do it though, the athletes start arriving tomorrow.

Bigfella
22 Sep 10,, 14:47
What happened was that the bathrooms for the laborers were removed when they were still in the process of retrofitting the apts with furnishings and turned off the water and thus the laborers were suddenly left without running water and functional bathrooms and therefore left "high" and "dry" so to speak. When they had to go, you can probably imagine what happened. They just need to send in plumbing and cleaning crews and it should be okay. I strongly suspect that this is a case of overexaggeration.

Parihaka, is New Zealand really serious about pulling out?

Blademaster,

Whether or not the issues over accommodation are being exaggerated or not, there are other serious issues on the minds of athletes.

So far we've had a bridge & part of the ceiling of the weightlifting centre collapse. A number of Australians died & were injured at the Maccabiah games several years ago when a bridge collapsed, so naturally it plays on the mind. We should probably be pleased that the construction was so bad it collapsed before it was even finished. I'm not sure how serious the risk of something like dengue fever is, but if I were a professional athlete who can't afford serious illness I'd be insisting on something very close to zero. Terrorism is probably less of an issue to athletes, but add it on top of everything else & individual athletes will be having a long hard think about going.

The Australian team is still going at this point & so is the minister for sport & his family. One Australian athlete has withdrawn. I wouldn't be surprised if more from other teams followed.

This is all very sad. This is a great opportunity for India to show it can stage these sort of big events. Done well it will be a great advertisment. Done poorly it will be terrible publicity. If the actual games goes well all will be forgotten (as it was in Athens). Lets hope that happens.

Blademaster
22 Sep 10,, 15:49
I admit that the collapse of a bridge is a serious thing but please take several things into account. The bridge was not finished and it was in construction mode. There were heavy rains during that week, the heaviest recorded in the century and it played havoc on the construction supports and the construction team. As for the weightlifting stadium roof collapse, that is a gross overexageration done by the media. The roof collapse occurred over six weeks ago and it was two tiles that fell from the roof. That roof has long been repaired. It is just sensational reporting by the media to cast the Games into a bad light for publicity.

Check this out: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=64101381&postcount=6710

The above picture shows the "collapse" of the roof. As you can see there is no "collapse" of the roof. It is just that two of the tiles came off probably those that were not properly fastened. If the other tiles were not properly fastened, they would have come down by themselves already. Nonetheless, when that event happened, they sent a crew to re-inspect the tiles and make sure that the tiles were properly fastened.

kuku
22 Sep 10,, 15:55
This is all very sad. This is a great opportunity for India to show it can stage these sort of big events. Done well it will be a great advertisment. Done poorly it will be terrible publicity. If the actual games goes well all will be forgotten (as it was in Athens). Lets hope that happens.
The biggest fallout of the games not going well would be a massive corruption probe, corruption and low quality work is expected in every project managed by the government, there will be corruption found on every single project, and most of the cases will never be resolved.

The games should have been postponed by at least 6 months, and before the commonwealth games a national level game should have been hosted on the facilities to ensure some practice.

Even now the games can be finished, that is never a problem, all that one needs are the sportsmen/women the sports facilities, and a place where everyone can sleep.

The quality of it is what matters.

As for the security issue, listen to me, any terrorist can do anything in Delhi, just two days back i was leaving my mum on the train station, i saw a man cross the metal detector with a 5 liter pressure cooker, nothing happened (anyways he could have just walked around the metal detector), all that we can do in Delhi is after a big bomb or a terrorist event has occurred, is an investigation.

If terrorists are already in Delhi with their guns and bombs, there is precious little the Delhi Police can do to stop them from attacking a bus taking players to a game. nearly 22.2 million people reside in the National Capital Region, and the police is not enough, all that i hope is that nation level intelligence/state level intelligence/street level intelligence is able to pick up the terrorists (if any)

By the way, a game that can not make profit to fund itself, does not deserve to be given money by the government, its my tax money, and i hate that it is being spent on funding sports, why on earth should i pay so that people can run, jump and swim?

If the advertisements can not pay for the games, just dont host such stupid events.

kuku
22 Sep 10,, 15:58
I admit that the collapse of a bridge is a serious thing but please take several things into account. The bridge was not finished and it was in construction mode. There were heavy rains during that week, the heaviest recorded in the century and it played havoc on the construction supports and the construction team. As for the weightlifting stadium roof collapse, that is a gross overexageration done by the media. The roof collapse occurred over six weeks ago and it was two tiles that fell from the roof. That roof has long been repaired. It is just sensational reporting by the media to cast the Games into a bad light for publicity.

Check this out: SkyscraperCity - View Single Post - 2010 Commonwealth Games-thread (for updates!) (http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=64101381&postcount=6710)

The above picture shows the "collapse" of the roof. As you can see there is no "collapse" of the roof. It is just that two of the tiles came off probably those that were not properly fastened. If the other tiles were not properly fastened, they would have come down by themselves already. Nonetheless, when that event happened, they sent a crew to re-inspect the tiles and make sure that the tiles were properly fastened.
The bridge collapsed because it did not follow standards, and that happens a lot here in India.