New Delhi: Commonwealth Games Organising Commitee (CGOC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Saturday accepted the blame for the mess surrounding the Commonwealth Games, but pointed fingers towards the government agencies for not delivering the infrastructure on time for the finishing work to be done.
“The role of the Organising Commitee is the conduct of the Games. I am not involved in the construction. Construction is not my responsibility. Yes, monitoring is my responsibility. As OC chairman, we take all the blame on us. But venues were handed to us late,” said Kalmadi, who faced with a barrage of questions from the media at the swanky Main Press Centre of the Commonwealth Games here.
When prodded by the foreign media, Kalmadi shot back that not everything was hunky dory at previous Games like in Manchester in 2002.
“In Manchester in 2002, we stayed at a University. We never complained. You have seen the venues here. They are world class, they are as good as Melbourne. The Games Village is fine. Yes, there are some issues with the Village, but the international zone, the food, the kitchen are good.
“There were some problems with some of the towers and the cleaning up is being done. We are trying our best. You talk to me after the Games,” said a beleaguered Kalmadi with Commonwealth Games Federation president Michael Fennell and CEO Michael Hooper sitting by his side.
“We still have eight days to go and we will in another couple of days finish all the work.”
Asked why work at the Village lagged behind, Kalmadi said: “I don`t think the OC is responsible for it. The last 18 towers were handed to us just three days back and we have been working on these Games for the last few years. I wish all the venues were handed over to me earlier we would have done a better work.”
Asked about the security at the Games, he said: “As far as the security goes, we have met all the criteria.”