New Delhi, Sep 22 : With questions being raised over the cleanliness in the Commonwealth Games Village, Union Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar tonight directed Delhi Government to take control of the maintenance of the complex which will house the athletes.
The maintenance of the Games Village was under the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) which is under direct control of Union Urban Development Ministry.
Highly-placed sources told PTI that Chandrasekhar directed the city government to take control of the maintenance and cleanliness of the Games Village from tomorrow following criticism by the Commonwealth Games Federation.
They said the CWG Organising Committee will be the overall incharge of the Games Village but Delhi government will look after the issues of maintenance and cleanliness.
Already 40 DANIPS (Delhi, Nicobar and Andaman Island Police Service) officers have been deployed in the Games Village and if required more officials will be put into service. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit will visit the Village tomorrow to assess the ground situation.
Cleanliness and maintenance of the Games Village had come under sharp criticism from foreign participants as well as Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive Mike Hooper who described the facility as "filthy and unimaginable".
Concerned over the unhygienic conditions at the Games Village, Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell shot off a letter to Cabinet Secretary asking him to take immediate steps to fix the deficiencies in the residential zone of the Village, which he said has "shocked" advance parties from New Zealand, Canada, Scotland and Ireland.
'The final preparations for the Games Village have been of concern to the CGF since viewing the residential zone along with a number of Commonwealth Games Associations advance parties on September 15," Fennel said in a strongly-worded statement.
But the embarrassed organisers, while promising to sort out all the glitches within the deadline, came out with a bizarre defence that the issue of cleanliness was a ter of difference in perception.
"For us and for you it is clean. But they (the foreign countries) have a different standard of cleanliness. It is a matter of difference in perception," Organising Committee spokesperson Lalit Bhanot said.
New Zealand Chef de Mission Dave Currie, who is camping in Delhi, threatened to pull out if the cleanliness issue of the residential zones where his country's athletes will stay is not sorted out.
"There are some realities, I guess, that if the village is not ready and athletes can't come then obviously the implications of that are it is not going to happen. If the village isn't ready, the athletes can't arrive," Currie said.
'It's not our decision. We're not saying we're not coming or the country's not coming. What we're saying is they've got a real challenge with the village and they need to take urgent attention to address it," he added. PTI