Commonwealth Games are falling apart.
Commonwealth Games Village are filthy. Electrical appliances are unsafe. Doors do not close. Bathrooms fixtures do not work. Stray dogs and faeces are everywhere. Canada, New Zealand, England, Scotland and Wales delegates have told their athletes will not stay in the Village. They want hotel accommodation. Foot over bridge at Jawaharlal Nehru has collapsed and 23 labourers injured.
The mayor of the Village blamed MCD for the dogs. It was mayorâ€™s responsibility to see that the Village was safe and secure.
Jaipal Reddy, Urban Development Minister and in-charge of the Games, said the bridge collapse is a minor incident. For him lives of labourers do not matter. The bridge was not for athletes or officials. Delhiâ€™s PWD minister said the bridge is not necessary and it does not matter if the bridge is not ready for the Games. People can use the road.
Mohinder Singh Gill and others had compared the Games to big fat Indian wedding. Everything will fall in place at the end. That was a wrong analogy. At weddings groom and bride can keep the people waiting. That is not the case for the Games.
Suresh Kalmadi did not address the media. Lalit Bhanot said hygiene standards of some countries are different from hygiene standards of India. That statement was disgusting.
Some days back reporters had a tour of the Commonwealth Games Village Kitchen and they found it state of the art. They were not shown the living rooms. There was no investigative journalism by TV channels to find out the truth about the Village being ready.
Security is an issue. Shooting outside Gate No. 3 of Jama Masjid on 19/9/2010 was cited as a reason by an Australian athlete for pulling out of Commonwealth Games.
When the first report of corruption in Commonwealth Games was out some said the amount was just one crore rupees or at the most two crore rupees. Now it is known that the magnitude of corruption is thousands of crores of rupees. Those who spoke of ignoring corruption are silent.
There is no time for cover-ups. Whatever is wrong will be known soon and no excuse will do.
Commonwealth Games in news for all the wrong reasons and corruption is a major reason. Some want the show to go on and any action against corruption be taken later on after the games are over. Conducting games is a matter of national pride and Suresh Kalmadi can not be replaced at this stage.
Now we know why the expenses for Commonwealth Games constantly increased. There is corruption in procurement of many items like umbrellas, doormats, toilet papers, fire extinguishers and so on. Corruption was suspected but the magnitude was not known. All expenses are said to have been approved by Secretary of Urban Development Ministry. Venues are not ready and it is doubtful whether they will be ready on time. The cost of renovation of a stadium has proved to be more than building a new stadium. There is report of child labour in the construction of venues. Death of 48 labourers did not make much news and was mentioned in passing. For some of the mess in Delhi, Congress blames MCD controlled by BJP.
Three Organising Committee officials are suspended. One of them, T. S. Darbari, had been named as the recipient of 28 lakh rupees ring by a man caught by Kochi customs some months back. Corruption in Baton relay is public knowledge. Anil Khanna, treasurer, resigned and A. K. Mattoo took over. A. K. Mattoo was in news as the head of Hockey India when hockey players had gone on strike demanding the payment of their dues.
Too bad if Suresh Kalmadi can not be replaced with 58 days to go for the games. It seems other IOA officials are good for nothing.
Going by past records it seems nobody will be punished for corruption. Cases will drag on for years and evidence will disappear. Guilty people of 1984 anti-Sikh riots and Bhopal gas tragedy are not punished even after 25 years and some of them are not even prosecuted. All the accused in Jain hawala case were acquitted.
Questions should be asked now and guilty should be prosecuted come what may. Let no one be under the illusion that he is indispensable. National pride or prestige should not be an excuse for covering a multitude of sins. Patriotism is the last resort of the scoundrels.
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