The day wasn’t without its controversies however. The comments made by Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) CEO, Mike Hooper, continued to create ripples on Monday, with Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit calling it ‘‘unkind’’ and ‘‘undiplomatic’’. However, Hooper received strong backing from CGF boss Mike Fennell, who insisted that the New Zealander neither blamed the Indian government nor made any disparaging comments about India’s vast population being responsible for traffic snarls as was reported in the media. ‘‘Far from any emotive commentary, Mr Hooper merely
stated the fact that the responsibility for delivering and operating the Games lies with authorities in India, as per the Host City contract,’’ said Fennell in a statement.
The mood was better in the Village though, with both the Delhi government and OC claiming that extensive repairs had been done in the Village. Dikshit was scathing in her assessment of the state of the Village as handed over by DDA and the developer, Emaar MGF. ‘‘We inherited it (the Village) in a very difficult situation,’’ she said. ‘‘I do hope at the end of it, everything will be all right...of course there are some seepages which the builder and the DDA should have looked at earlier,’’ Dikshit who has been personally monitoring the ‘clean-up operation’ at the Village said. She, however, refused to put a deadline to when the work would be complete in the Village. DDA was also criticized by cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar and several top officials of the OC and Delhi government at the meeting on Sunday, sources said.
The OC meanwhile seemed to have shifted its operation to the Village, with most of the important meetings taking place there. The stock-taking exercise with the CGF, OC and Delhi government saw several issues being discussed including transportation. ‘‘Almost all the people have entered (the Village) ... There are small problems relating to transportation that we are sorting out,’’ added Kalmadi.
The day also saw the formal flag hoisting ceremony of team Scotland and Norfolk at the Games Village. The arrival of over 500 athletes from England (61), Australia (59) and Canada (30), Scotland (77) and South Africa (113) was also seen. The reaction from those who checked into the Village was mixed, with the Scots remaining sceptical while the Aussies were happy. ‘‘I am not concerned at all because once people get here they will want to be a part of the Commonwealth Games experience,’’ Australian chef de mission Steve Moneghetti said.
Meanwhile, South African high commissioner, Harris Mbulelo Mejeke, who had claimed to find a snake in the accommodation provided for his country’s team on Sunday, took a different stance, saying things were ‘‘unlike’’ what he saw during his previous visit. ‘‘Everything has been addressed. They are finishing up and everything will be all right,’’ he added.