Updated: August 19, 2011 11:37 IST

Get your act together, Manmohan tells Ministers

  • Smita Gupta
Comment (28)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
A security guard stands near an electronic countdown clock displaying the nine days left for the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG) at the CWG office in New on Friday.
A security guard stands near an electronic countdown clock displaying the nine days left for the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG) at the CWG office in New on Friday.

Minister makes the offer at Cabinet meeting

A day after calling an emergency meeting on the Commonwealth Games (CWG) to impress upon the Ministers concerned the need to get their act together, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday cut M.S. Gill short when the Union Sports Minister offered, at a cabinet meeting, to make a presentation on the CWG for the benefit of his ministerial colleagues.

Sources in the government told The Hindu that Dr. Singh told Mr. Gill that as the matter was discussed at length on Thursday, there was no need to go into it again.

Apparently, at the end of the meeting, after all the items on the agenda were dealt with, Mr. Gill made the offer to the Prime Minister – and it was turned down.

For the government, the last few weeks have been particularly trying, with the Ministry of External Affairs having to fend off embarrassing enquiries from foreign missions.

Special briefing

And last week, at Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar's instance, at a specially organised briefing for heads of foreign missions, Press Information Bureau's Principal Director-General Neelam Kapur addressed concerns about security, health and the delays and glitches associated with the Games.

Now, on Saturday, all heads of missions and chiefs of bureaus of newspapers are going to be taken to various venues, it is learnt, to counter the negative publicity. Mr. Chandrashekhar had a one-and-half-hour long meeting on Friday afternoon with Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell.

Ministers questioned

The sources said Dr. Singh, alarmed at media reports, both national and international, about shoddy planning for the CWG, on Thursday questioned Mr. Gill, Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit very closely on the state of preparedness of the venues and the Games Village, as well as the collapse of the foot overbridge near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Dr. Singh wanted to know what was being done to finish the work in time.

At that meeting, when the question of getting assistance from outside to help in the clean-up was mooted, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai pointed out that these people would need to be cleared by the Intelligence Bureau, given the security concerns.

With the focus now on “housekeeping” in the Village, top of the line five-star hotels – the Taj, Oberoi and ITC – have flown in over 50 experts from out of town to help the government in supervising the clean-up at the 34 towers in the Village, the sources told The Hindu.

After all the bad news, government representatives looked a little more cheerful on Friday – now that the focus is merely on getting the venues and the Village ready and the roads that connect the two.

However, large parts of the city are still a shambles, with debris lying along unfinished roads, and major shopping areas that were to be refurbished to coincide with the Games, still looking like conflict zones.

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If the Prime Minister heard only from the media about the mess the preparations for the CWG is in, there is something seriously wrong with the channels of communication open to the highest executive office in the country. The PM's evident anger against the Sports Minister at this stage, does not wipe off the bad name his government has rightly earned. The best efforts of the entire private electronic media to pin down Mr.Kalamadi as the main, if not the only person responsible for all the ills of the CWG project, will not help hide the government's responsibility in bringing about the present awkward siuation for the country.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Sep 26, 2010 at 09:56 IST

Because of lake of planning, team work and organisation skills put the nation 0n shame

from:  murali
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 13:36 IST

Kudos to all ministers involved. Especially to Mr. Gill and our Honourable P.M Dr.Manmohan Singh, for his prompt action at the eleventh hour.!
Our name would have been much better, if we hadn't bided for Common Wealth Games. We Indians, have this habit of not evaluating our strength and weaknesses before starting some work. Its necessary to know our limitations. We are lacking in two important qualities, punctuality and honesty. We could have avoided the negative publicity, if we stayed away from taking such responsibility, which requires both of the important qualities mentioned.
Common wealth committee is also to be blamed equally. They should have done comprehensive background study and success records before handing over the game, atleast, they should have checked the condition of games village, quality of grounds and other preparations well before time.

from:  Sathees Kannan
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 11:41 IST

After a long hibernation and a slumber the Government seems to have thawed out to react to the severe criticism pointed at them. It is a relief to see the stain of shame is somewhat neutralized! One can now take a sigh of relief until another catastrophe that could be lurking in the village! Let us prey that there no more dramas!

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 11:22 IST

70% of Indian population earns less Ruppees 20 per day. Here in the name of CWG we are spending 70000 crores, which is 3 times of our advanced tax collected. I would like to ask these questions to the India Government. Where did all this money go? How sports in India going to be benefited by this? Who is going to be benefial by conducting this game? I am an Indian citizen who pays taxes direct and indirect regularly. What do I get from it? What I see here is dilapidated roads, flooded cities, toll booths and corruption. As a common man, our rights is been always ignored. Pathetic, thats the only thing I can tell about this.

from:  Arun Varghese E
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 10:29 IST

There was a time when we didn't have talents and we didn't have resources. There is no excuse any more in those two areas. The only reason for this mess, which has made the whole world laugh at us, is the lack of planning. Planning is something that we don't have it in our DNA. Those responsible for organising the game were too proud to recognise this fact and get help from experts. Shame on them. I wouldn't be surprised if they consulted astrologers instead of experts. We Indians are known for doing such stupid things.

I live in New York City which has a metro system that was planned and installed 100 years ago. It is still running efficiently. We Indians install something, and it collapses before it is put to use. All those who are responsible for putting our country to this kind of shame should be punished mercilessly.

from:  M.P. Prabhakaran
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 09:22 IST

//Get your act together, Manmohan tells Ministers//. This warning should have come from PM long back or atleast after the media`s exposure by june 1st itself . Now a days ,it is so surprising that PM takes his own time and makes a dramatic appearance on the scene in every important issue after all the damage done . UPA2 won elections on the performance of the same PM in UPA1 and why he is forced into a shell is a big mystery but people are suffering because of his Apathy and right action at right time .

from:  Dr. n.radhakrishna
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 08:46 IST

Dear Sir,
I cannot but be ashamed of the way in which the CWG venue is being handled. Had we been prudent and dynamic the entire setting should have been perfectly ready one month before the inaugural function. There are talented and capable technocrats in India who can accomplish it.
The biggest blunder the Govt. of India did was that it entrusted with a political figure the responsibility of making the site of CWG ready for the games. Anybody can guess what will be his 'prime concern'. It is needless to elaborate what it will be because it is already well known!
So, if the CWG fails in any manner no one in the Government, including the Prime Minister, can shirk of the responsibility of the collapse.

from:  C V SOMAR
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 08:00 IST

It is too late. Due to political consideration,he CWG will continue but of course without much fanfare. The whole thing is just a face-saving exercise.

I am most worried about the prospect of India having a nuclear power plant. This would be a time bomb for in counries like Japan, UK and even the US, mishaps do happen. India with such showing in the preparation of the CWG is just scary.

from:  nawawimohamad
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 07:06 IST

better late than never.... our Prime Minister needs to raise his own standard by getting out there and taking charge and getting the job done. Ministers are known to talk but can they they actually walk!!! Its time to prove that they can. Good Luck.

from:  Srinivasan
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 06:26 IST

All the best India
We are so proud to be Indian in conducting CWG 2010 even though we r having many setback

from:  Ragavan Singapore
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 06:07 IST

The shoddy preparation for the games has been in the news for more than a month. How come PM now only raised the topic with the concerned ministers?

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 04:36 IST

There is a silver lining to this fiasco. If a gold medal were awarded for coming first in corruption in the execution of major public projects, India would have secured a gold even before the games began.

from:  S.P.Chakravarty
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 03:41 IST

It was quiet hihg time for the prime minister to interfere in the concerned matter. The openion largely stands that he must have done this much before, then the ministries/departments concerned would have taken the games preparation much more seriously.

from:  Ashish Dahiya
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 02:38 IST

The powerhouse that India is destined to become is definitely not going down too well with certain nations or communities who inappropriately are transmitting negativity through the print and visual media. A growing nation will encounter envy, abhorrence and criticism; a challenge that has to be triumphed over. India can do it and will do it. Nonetheless, the time has come for the executives in parliament to ensure bureaucracy and procrastination are erased and an acountable system of governance is employed. Get your act

from:  Vinod Varma
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 02:37 IST

What transpired last 4 days was also lot of hyped up criticism by the westerners including aussies and nzs whether to call them westerners from where they all migrated from or call them easterners by geogrphical location, is debatable. Any that's only a moot point. The serious matter is the criticism which has been enormously overblown to infinite proportion jsut becasue it came from the elite white civilizations is ludicrous. Agreed there were some shoddy here and there may be to maximum of 10% of the whole staging complex. but nothing serious since by next 3 days everything seems Ok even by white civilization standards and all are ready to arrive and participate and earn some medals to up their medal tallies for aussies, english, welch, scots all of the white civilization. So the only thing still standing are those disgruntled athletes for whatever their reason from racism to being not a white country hosts to varied other reasons real or imagined not participating. Everything else seems to be OK and if the coming CWG games go without a single hiccup or hitch by October 14 everything will be forgiven by the whites and who knows may be declared as one of the most successful modern CWGs and lo behold in a couple of years, India can bid for the future olympics with dignity and head held high and has an even chance of being given the 2020 olympics to host. In sports and those matters 2 or 3 years is like an eon in time entity.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 02:32 IST

Thankyou Manmohan ji. Now, may be you can deal with the children as young as seven that are being used in the construction of game venues.

from:  Krishna kumar
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 01:12 IST

Thanks GOD Dr Manmohan Singh saved every body's time by disallowing the presentation on CWG at eleventh hour otherwise the ministerial meeting would have looked like a Durbar Of Mohammed Tuglak . It is absolutely absurd to advertise to whole world that our ministers are not aware about about the progress of CWG even a week before the event . Of course Mr Gill has made a point that no body has cared about the CWG ,if it was not for the media the corruption would have also gone unnoticed and unpunished

from:  A.Ahluwalia
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 00:34 IST

Mr Singh, You might as well have watched the presentation. It would make no difference as to what you watch now and what you don't. The deed is done, the money has moved to the accounts of people who were running the show, the games are just a formality now, and the nation Shamed internationally.

Shame on all people who led India to shame. Shame on me and people like me who voted for your party.

from:  Aam Naagrik
Posted on: Sep 25, 2010 at 00:01 IST

Common wealth games ...
Our politicians mistook it as games to collect common wealth for them...

from:  Pranay Kondekar
Posted on: Sep 24, 2010 at 23:41 IST

Sooo bad. Get your act together. Reading internationally. It looks so bad. How could you guys have let it get to this state!

from:  Ajai
Posted on: Sep 24, 2010 at 23:33 IST

corruption never makes an event successfull,and no doubt Congrees Government is the most successor helper in india makes corrupeted in India, every field in India. And our PM and president are always helpless behind corruption. CWG is latest example.

our question to GOV how many million Rs. now you will expend to clean up in India immage?

from:  prasun
Posted on: Sep 24, 2010 at 23:31 IST

Alas. Gill will go unpunished. As also Shiela Dixit, Jaipal Reddy and above all, Suresh Kalmadi. The next scam will overshadow the CWG. The only thing permanent is the TDS on our salaries and millions of TDSs that have funded this 70,000 crore rupee loot.

from:  Govind Raj
Posted on: Sep 24, 2010 at 23:27 IST

After a bunch of numerous problems at last there is a sign of sunshine. Hope all will end well. Nevertheless, stern action should be taken against the officials who are responsible for the bottlenecks.Those found to have taken bribes should be punished severally.It should prove to be a lesson for all.

from:  C.B.Gupta
Posted on: Sep 24, 2010 at 23:27 IST

After a bunch of numerous problems at last there is a sign of sunshine. Hope all will end well. Nevertheless, stern action should be taken against the officials who are responsible for the bottlenecks.Those found to have taken bribes should be punished severally.It should prove to be a lesson for all.

from:  C.B.Gupta
Posted on: Sep 24, 2010 at 23:27 IST

CWG : Congress Wealth Games
Congress ka haath, Corruption ke saath

from:  abc
Posted on: Sep 24, 2010 at 23:03 IST

Its unfortunate that an even that should have been the pride of our nation, is actually turning out to be the other way round. I hope we learn from our mistakes and implement our learnings in future.

from:  Radha
Posted on: Sep 24, 2010 at 22:58 IST

First of all, I'm happy they didn't decide to cancel or postpone the event. I'm sure the athletes who are not coming would miss a great championship.

Now that ministers are making a rush at the last moment, I hope they don't take pride in saying later "We finished the work in time when utmost needed.". After all, they are the ones behind all this mess.

Anyways, good luck India!

from:  Rohan Gupta
Posted on: Sep 24, 2010 at 22:35 IST
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