Friday, August 20, 2010

The truth of the matter

A lot left to do, Fennel tells OC
HT Correspondent  
New Delhi, August 20, 2010

Construction sites across Delhi, the piled up debris and the unfinished landscaping of venues are giving the Commonwealth Games Federation a headache; its chief, Michael Fennell, said they were hurting the image of the sporting event that is just 45 days away. “After visiting 17 venues, I felt thesite work, the landscaping and the cleaning up needs to be done on a priority basis. Because of them the image of the Games is getting affected,” Fennell said after his two-day stock-taking exercise ended on Thursday. “It is generally felt this can be done quickly but attention needs be paid to this aspect.
Assuring the organisers were doing a good job, Fennell said work was far from over. “I have told the Organising Committee that for them this is the last lap and in a marathon, the last lap is always the toughest.”
On a brighter note, however, Fennell said the stadiums were looking beautiful and world class. “After all the event is over, India will be left with some world class venues.”
Fennell denied the organisers a complete clean chit, saying there was a lot of tidying up to do. “A tremendous amount of detail work still needs to be done,” he said.
The Games Village also came under Fennell’s scrutiny.
“The kitchen and dining hall work is well behind time. This must be accelerated on an urgent basis, and everything must be in place before doors open to the athletes who will start arriving by mid-September,” he said.
The Games Federation chief assured that as far as security was concerned, he was satisfied. “It (security) was at the top of our agenda. We leave with the comfort that planning has been top class,” he said.
“A lot of work needs to be done and we have already apprised the OC about it,” said Mike Hooper, the CEO of CGF.
Organising Committee (CGOC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi, meanwhile, said it was at the committee’s request that government had appointed 11 top bureaucrats to oversee work and that there was no "take over" of the Games.

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