The OC’s merchandising operations, which were to be launched on Monday, have now been delayed indefinitely. Sources in the OC claimed that the launch was expected to take place sometime ‘‘this week’’, though no one had an idea when. The merchandising launch is an important event for the administrators of the Commonwealth Games in terms of revenue. The OC has been feeling the heat for the lack of sponsors, with the merchandising expected to make a dent in the revenue figures.
Sources in the OC confirmed that the decision on caterers for the Games venues was also to be taken by the top brass of the OC. Said Lalit Bhanot, secretary general, OC,
‘‘The committee is still discussing the matter (of selection of caterer) but we should have a decision soon.’’ This was the response till late evening, though OC chairperson Suresh Kalmadi had declared that a caterer would be chosen for the venues by August 10. Sources, however, said that the selection committee had already conveyed its recommendations and a decision was to be taken by the top officials (read Bhanot and Kalmadi).
Sources in the OC, in fact, confirm that the past few days have been more of firefighting than actual work in the OC office. Most decisions are pending, especially with the top officials caught in the crossfire. In fact, Kalmadi’s preoccupation was more than apparent on Monday when even the signing up of a major sponsor Tata Motors for the Games didn’t get the OC to come out with a media blitzkrieg. Added the official, ‘‘Most events that usually mark the run-up to the Games, like the launch of merchandise, are being kept quiet, since the top officials are avoiding public gaze.’’
Only routine work like the inventory of Games venues is going as per schedule, added officials. The handover is still going on, with the OC having taken over 11 venues so far in the last week.