Will Upgrade Cleanliness Standards at Village in 36 Hours: Bhanot

New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS): Admitting that there are concerns about hygiene and cleanliness at the Games Village here, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) secretary-general Lalit Bhanot Tuesday assured that all the problems will be addressed and standards upgraded within 36 hours to the expectation of the visiting contingents.

Reacting to adverse reports regarding "filthy living conditions" at the Village, Bhanot said standards of cleanliness and hygiene differed from one person to the other and what one thought was clean may not appear that clean to others.

"We have told the Chefs de Mission that the level of hygiene and cleanliness at the Games Village will be upgraded within 36 hours. We are doing entire cleaning of the residential wing. In fact, cleaning in 70 percent of the towers is complete and the remaining will be done in 36 hours," said Bhanot.

Bhanot admitted that the organising committee has received Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Mike Fennell's letter to Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekar, the government's seniormost official who is overseeing the Games' preparations, in which the former expressed his concerns about the cleanliness and hygiene at the Village as have some visiting delegations, particularly the New Zealand chef de mission.

"This is not a matter of shame; all work will be done by tomorrow," Bhanot told a questioner.

"Fennell wrote a letter raising some concerns and today cabinet secretary, sports secretary, Lt. Governor and principal secretary to the prime minister met and said that all support should be lent (by the Indian government) to the organising committee," he said.

Bhanot maintained that the Games Village is world-class and the facilities are much better in comparison to the previous Games.

"The Athletes Village is world class. I have visited many such Games and ours is the best. All the foreign delegates are impressed by the international centre and the dinning hall.

"The sports facility and the dining hall are world class. Only the cleaning part is left and it wil be done before the athletes arrive," he said.

Bhanot maintained that cleanliness at the Village is a minor issue.

"The delegates have shown specific concerns and we will address them. If you look at the stadiums, they all are ready to host the event and have been appreciated by all. We are working round the clock and we will make the Village ready at all cost," said Bhanot.

Bhanot insisted that the organisers had set Sep 23 as the deadline for the Games Village and said that the Village will be ready in 36 hours.

"We had set the target that all work will be over by September 23 before the arrival of athletes. It still stands, all work will be completed before arrival of athletes. Only thing left is the deep cleaning of the Village. All cleaning work will be completed before the arrival of the athletes," he said.

Bhanot said the labourers working at the Games Village, who are being blamed for the mess there, cannot be locked and it is tough to track them.

"The labourers have access to all the areas inside the village. We can't lock the rooms every time. It is difficult to track them," he said.

Asked if the lock down at the Village by security officials is delaying the pending works, Bhanot said: "Even at venues locked down by the police, workers can go inside after issuing bump-in passes. How many people will come next day will be known the earlier night and accordingly passes will be issued. So there will be no problem for workers in their job."

Mayor of the Village Dalbir Singh said that as long as the labourers are present at the Games Village, the issue of cleanliness will remain.

"Before entering a new house, there are always minor issues. There are issues with furniture in the rooms and the flooring areas," he said.


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Title: Will Upgrade Cleanliness Standards at Village in 36 Hours: Bhanot

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