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CWG: The race against time continues


Neenaz Ichaporia,CNN-IBN
Sep 23, 2010 at 01:48pm IST

New Delhi: Whatever can go wrong is going wrong with the Commonwealth Games. After Tuesday’s footbridge collapse, there was more embarrassment for the Organising Committee (OC) in store on Wednesday as a portion of the false ceiling collapsed in the weightlifting arena at the Jawahar Lal Stadium. CNN-IBN visited three of the project sites where work is still going on with people racing against time to meet deadlines.

If Tuesday saw the collapse of a footbridge, Wednesday witnessed the collapse of a portion of the false ceiling at the JN Stadium adding more trouble to a government that is trying desperately to salvage the Commonwealth Games.

“These minor glitches occur in new buildings. Please, if a small part has come down do not make it as if the whole thing has collapsed. I am sorry, we do not agree with that,” said Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit.

Just over a week to go before the Games begin and labourers working through the night and the pouring rain. There seems to be no respite for them as the pressure surrounding the Games reaches fever pitch and the cracks have begun to show with the authorities continue to be on the defensive.

“Please present positive coverage on CWG,” said Jaipal Reddy.

The lights at the Nehru stadium are shining bright but just a few metres away workers are scrambling to clear the debris left behind by the collapse of the foot overbridge on Tuesday that left 27 labourers injured. But on Wednesday morning it seemed like nothing had ever happened.

A day after the collapse, tonnes of twisted bands metal are being hurriedly taken from the site. But this is one incident that the authorities just cannot sweep under the carpet.

The Commonwealth Games Village has become the other big embarassment for the OC. With water-logged basements and filthy staircases, the Games Village represent a nightmare.

Atheletes start arriving on Thursday, but there is no sign that work here will be complete before they come. When the Games contingent arrives what will they see?

Stagnant pools of water and reports of unhygienic conditions have already led several athletes to pull out of the Games.

Just a stone’s throw from the Games Village is this incomplete flyover. It was supposed to take the atheletes from their quarters to the cycling practice sites along the Greater Noida expressway. Although the work is still going on with just over a week left, there's a big quesiton mark over whether the authorities will be able to deliver on time.

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