Saturday, July 24, 2010

500 Persons Strong Team to Polish City

With only 72 days left for the Commonwealth Games, Delhi government seems to be getting the jitters. To ‘‘polish up” the city for the Games, the government is planning to put a workforce of around 500 persons, drawn from departments other than the PWD, on the job of scrubbing the city clean.

After sending government officers on a malba-removal drive, chief minister Sheila Dikshit, while giving a pep talk to officials in charge of the Games, told them to ‘‘concentrate on giving finishing touches”.

Under the proposal, the workers will be drawn from the government’s department of flood & irrigation, and slum and JJ development. A meeting to finalize the plan of action is expected to take place on Friday.

According to the proposal, the departments will hire labor on contract to work on various PWD street scaping and beautification projects for the Games. The job of these shadow laborers will be to clean up what is left behind by contractors and to fix trouble spots like broken or missing tiles.

To supervise these emergency workers, nodal officers will be appointed and who will also prepare reports on the quality of work carried out by respective contractors.

Minister in charge of the PWD, Raj Kumar Chauhan, refused to comment on the payment plan for these 500 men but sources said they will be hired by the departments charged with the task of contracting the workforce.

To boost the spirits of officials working on Commonwealth Games-related projects, chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who has been expressing her discontent over projects with frankness at regular review meetings, chose to soften her stand on Thursday. In a pep talk, she exhorted all PWD engineers and officers to concentrate on quality finishing work.

‘‘It is time to rise to the occasion and make Delhi ready to host an international sports event which will be witnessed by billions of people around the world,” the CM said.

She instructed the officers to complete streetscape works since much of it has been found unfinished at a number of places because of the large quantum and pressure of work. She further asked the PWD to concentrate on roads leading to the Commonwealth Games Village and other Games venues, reiterating the September deadline for all greening-related work.

Dikshit announced that all engineers will be rewarded suitably, probably with a month’s salary, after the successful completion of the Games.