September 23/10 19:37 pm - CGC Says 'Positive Developments' in Delhi
Posted by Editoress on 09/23/10
Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) held a second briefing today to update the media on the situation in Delhi for the rapidly approaching Commonwealth Games. The Games have been plagued with delays, corruption scandals and, on Monday, CGC Director of Sport Scott Stevenson revealed that the Village residences for the athletes were unfit for human inhabitation (see our report in Daily News: Concerns Mount Over Commonwealth Games Preparedness).
Today, Mr Stevenson opened his briefing by saying there had been "positive developments".
"It was a good day. Our Chefs de Mission meeting was joined this morning by the Chief Minister for Delhi, Sheila Dikshit. She will take over responsibility for the Village, and arrived with 18 senior administrators, one for each [residence]. They will provided coordinated, directed supervision and have the authority to do what is necessary."
"They have added 800-plus labourers; we have already seen the increase in manpower and an improvement in the quality of work. The cleaned suites we have seen at the end of today are what I would call 'adequate-plus' for use, when we were hoping for 'adequate'."
Stevenson, with relief palpable in his voice, added that they are expecting the first athletes to arrive Sunday evening now, and the advance teams are turning their focus towards inspecting the sports venues.
"This is an excellent effort, but it needs to be sustained."
CGC President Dr Andrew Pipe, in the same conference call, commented pointedly, "What we are seeing, for the first time, is the projection of significant political leadership. That has been lacking, and we welcome it."
"We have updated the [national] sports bodies regularly and, with minor changes, we can follow the planned travel schedule. But, we have to maintain a rigorous and robust scrutiny on a day-to-day basis."
Dr Pipe was asked about athletes that have already pulled out, and whether they will be encouraged to return. His response was no - the decisions of athletes who have said they will not attend will be respected. He also said that the vast majority of athletes continue to train and prepare for the Games.