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Commonwealth Games 2010 mess: Foot over-bridge at Nehru stadium collapses

Commonwealth Games 2010 mess: Foot over-bridge at Nehru stadium collapses New Delhi: It is Murphy's Law for the Commonwealth Games. Whatever can go wrong is going wrong. With security worries at an all-time high after Sunday's attack on two foreign tourists, Tuesday brought worse news for the organisers.

With just 12 days to go for the Games, a new foot over-bridge near the main venue of the Games, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, collapsed, injuring 23 labourers, five of them critically. (Watch: 23 labourers injured, 5 critical, says Delhi police)

"The over-bridge collapsed as the pins not secured properly," said Raj Kumar Chauhan, PWD Minister, Delhi. 

The location couldn't have been more inappropriate for the Games, as the over-bridge collapsed at the doorstep of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies are to be held.

The man heading the Group of Ministers in-charge of the Games played down the collapse.
 
"This is a minor incident. The Commonwealth Games will not be judged by this," said Jaipal Reddy, Urban Development Minister.

Also trying to downplay the collapse, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said, "The over-bridge was for spectators not for the games officials or the athletes. We will make alternative arrangements for their convenience at the earliest. The chief secretary and the traffic department are discussing the matter."

But earlier in the day, the men behind UK-based Commonwealth Games Federation, virtually read out the riot act to India, over the state of the Games Village. While Mike Fennell said he was greatly concerned, his representative in Delhi, didn't mince any words. (Read: Games Village seriously compromised, says Fennell)
 
"Predominantly the issue is of cleanliness of the towers in the residential zone. We have held meetings with OC officials and emphasised the importance of addressing the issue of cleanliness of the Village, which I have to say in many towers are filthy and uninhabitable as stated by Mr Fennel," said Mike Hooper, CEO, Commonwealth Games Federation. (Read: Games Village filthy, uninhabitable, says Hooper)

"I think it's disappointing that we are only 12 days away from the opening ceremony and the village is as late as it is and residential area is as late as it is," said Dave Currie, New Zealand's Chef de Mission.

But this criticism too was played down by the authorities.
 
"I will ask not to form any judgement before the Games. India's image has not been affected. Please do not form any opinion before the Games. Image of the Games will be known by the way we conduct the conduct the Games," said Jaipal Reddy, Urban Development Minister. (Watch: CWG concerns being addressed, says Jaipal Reddy)

"We have received the letter from Mr Fennell and he has expressed his concerns on the cleanliness of the Games Village. But it is not such a big issue which we should be ashamed of. This will not affect the Games," said Lalit Bhanot, General Secretary, CWG Organising Committee. (Read and watch: Games Village world class, says Lalit Bhanot)

Only half the towers in the main Games Village are said to be ready.

8000 athletes from the Commonwealth countries start arriving next week, but with facilities for them - forget Delhiites - now evidently clearly in a state of collapse, the Prime Minister's Office itself is said to be deep into crisis management.

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Commonwealth Games 2010 mess: Foot over-bridge at Nehru stadium collapses

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Sonali Chander
Sonali Chander
Shocking how senior officials make idiotic comments. CWG official Bhanot said 'cleanliness standards of other countries are different' 1 day ago
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Sonali Chander
Sonali Chander
What is the best thing about Delhi hosting CWG! That we now have a world class airport and a metro better than most countries 1 week ago
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Trivia

The official song of the 2010 Commonwealth Games "Jiyo Utho Badho Jeeto" is composed and performed by Oscar winning Indian musician AR Rahman. The song's title is based on the slogan of the games, "Come out and play". The song is penned by Mehboob.