Workers painted walls and mopped rainwater at the Commonwealth Games Village as India raced yesterday to address complaints about dirty and unhygienic facilities one week before the start of the showpiece event.
The Games were supposed to enhance India’s image as a rising power, but shoddy construction, dirty accommodation and security fears raised governance and accountability issues in Asia’s third largest economy.
Several top athletes pulled out, removing some of the shine from the event held every four years for former British colonies.
Two more Australian athletes, cyclist Travis Meyer and table tennis player Stephanie Sang, pulled out yesterday. This comes a day after Britain’s No. 1 tennis player Elena Baltacha withdrew because of concerns about disease and hygiene.
Yesterday, Indian organizing committee officials met to review the work at the Games Village where masons plastered walls while workers dried out the basement of the Village which sits on the flooded plains of the Yamuna river.
Most of the 34 apartment blocs are gleaming and fitted with Italian marble. But much of what is good about the facility was overshadowed by athletes’ complaints of dirtiness and unfinished work.