The work in the Commonwealth Games Village is proceeding fast but may still take another couple of days to complete, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who had been asked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to supervise the final clean up operation, told The Hindu on Saturday.

“When we began work, the residential towers were lying unclean, a large number of glasses and other panels were broken, there was water-logging and seepage in many parts, and much of the furniture and other equipment was yet to be installed. But in the last two days, work has been carried out on a war-footing and we will soon be able to deliver a Village that would compare with the best,” said Ms. Dikshit, who has now stopped attending too many meetings and is devoting her time “in the field”, paying several visits in a day to the Games Village.

On how the Village is gradually transforming itself into what it should have been, the Chief Minister said a large amount of workforce has been deployed and necessary equipment brought in.

“We have roped in several hotels like The Lalit, Maurya Sheraton and Taj Group along with professional housekeeping service providers. This has definitely helped as they are coming in with the equipment and cleaning up the place and helping maintain it that way. The players who have already come in like those from New Zealand and Malaysia are quite happy with the services on offer. I told them that I would be happier if on October 15 they'll say that they want to stay longer in India,” she said.

Besides the professionals, Ms. Dikshit said about 50 senior Delhi Government officials are regularly coordinating with the hotel managers in ensuring proper upkeep of the residential towers. “In almost all the towers we had problem of cleanliness and hygiene. Gradually they are being readied and the players are being moved into them.”

“Till yesterday the refrigerators and other equipment was coming in and then there were problems about electricity connections and other such things. We are resolving these on a continuous basis.”

Stating that the problem with some parts of the complex, such as certain basements, is acute, the Chief Minister said: “We are trying to clean them up as much as possible and spraying chemicals to disinfect them. Then these parts are being sealed off completely to ensure that there is no problem of mosquitoes or germs in the rest of the area.”

As far as the food being served or the international zone is concerned, Ms. Dikshit said they are in perfect order. “I have asked them to prepare meals for 1,000 additional persons daily because a large workforce is involved and it cannot work on empty stomachs. We have about 150 persons from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi involved in the cleaning work.”

On why the final cleaning work is taking more than the expected time, the Chief Minister said there were issues pertaining to security as well. “The people brought in for the job did not have any prior security clearance and so it was taking them long to enter the Games Village. But we have requested that their entry be expedited so that the work can end quickly.”

Outside the Games Village, Ms. Dikshit said she was satisfied with the way the greenery and landscaping work has gone. The rains, that have delayed other projects and road laying works, have helped maintain the newly-laid green areas. “Now that the rains have stopped, we would be giving a final coat to all the main roads connecting the Games venues.”

The collapse of the foot over-bridge near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, she said, was a big setback. “Till then our work had gone off without any accident. But then this happened. The European company that had designed the nice-looking foot over-bridge faulted somewhere. Now we are getting the Army to construct a bailey bridge at the spot. Though it would not look as good, it would help in utilising the parking provided on the other side of the road well, especially during the opening and closing ceremonies.”

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