September 21, 2010 by Post Team
Commonwealth Games, NEW DELHI – New questions were raised about India’s preparation for the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday after a pedestrian bridge collapsed in front of a playground, injuring dozens. The accident occurred the same day on which such housing officials called the athletes “uninhabitable.”
Representatives from dozens of countries participating in the Commonwealth Games, a competition every four years among members of the Commonwealth of Nations, began to arrive in Delhi in recent days to see the facilities and carry out security checks . the Olympic village, built for the Games, not ready, they say, and questions linger about the safety after an attack on tourists in New Delhi on Sunday.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, a bridge near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the headquarters of games, it came down. The footbridge collapsed into three pieces, with several workers with her and the uprooting of one side of the arch that supported it.
A police officer at the scene said 27 people were injured, four of them seriously, in collapse.
“This will not affect the Games,” said Raj Kumar Chauhan, a minister of Delhi for development, who spoke at the scene. “We can put the bridge again, or make a new one.”
The accident occurred when workers were trying to pour concrete in a clip at the base of the bridge, he said, and dropped the clip was.
Games officials had filed formal complaints about the preparations with the government of India even before the accident. “The condition of the residential area has shocked most,” said the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Michael Fennel, in a statement last week. Fennel said he had sent a letter to the secretary of the union cabinet of India. The Games village is “seriously compromised,” he said.
“The problems arise because the deadlines for the completion of the Villa have been systematically expelled,” said Fennell.
The village Olympics is “uninhabitable”, the Federation of Commonwealth Games chief executive, Mike Hooper, told local television channel CNN-IBN on Tuesday. “There is dust everywhere,” he said. “The floors are dirty and filthy. The toilets are unclean,” he said.
The construction of the Commonwealth Games Village, which was built on the banks of Yamuna River, which forms the eastern border of New Delhi, is well behind schedule. Delhi built a series of apartment towers to house 7,000 athletes and their families, a 2300-seat cafeteria and practice areas on land that was originally a plain empty.
Sports Ministry officials promised last year that the Games village would be ready in March 2010 but still finishing touches were being made outside the buildings during a tour of the media last week. And the interiors of buildings not yet completed, some say.
Dave Currie, the chairman of the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team, said on Tuesday that the Olympic village was in such poor condition that games have to be canceled.
“It’s pretty bleak,” he said in an interview with radio station Newstalk ZB New Zealand’s. The showers and toilets in the rooms the New Zealand team was not working and post-construction cleaning was not done, he said. “It’s certainly disappointing considering the amount of time they have had,” he said.
The athletes are scheduled to start arriving in New Delhi on Thursday, but that date may be necessary to go back, “said Currie, who ultimately could lead to the games themselves being canceled. “If people are not ready, the athletes can not reach,” he said.
“There’s a real mountain to climb” before the town can be completed, said Currie. It will be a real challenge at this time for this to happen “, he said.
Olympic security has become a major concern after two tourists were killed outside the Jama Masjid, a mosque that is one of the main attractions of Delhi, on Sunday. Tourism or fatally injured, and the mosque is far from the facilities of the Games village athletes, but the incident sparked fresh concerns about the ability of New Delhi to keep athletes and visitors during the Games security.
An email sent to the media shortly after the attack said the Indian Mujahideen, a group that the Indian government considers a terrorist organization, should focus on the Games.
“If it had happened against disorder almost complete preparations for the Commonwealth Games would not have raised much enthusiasm,” said Ajai Sahni, executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management, a group that studies terrorist activity. Games participants are concerned that if the construction and planning are in disarray, security may be too much, he said.
Most facilities in the Commonwealth Games was originally supposed to be completed in 2007, but workers were still putting the finishing touches on many of them too.
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