Obviously buoyed by positive response to the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on Sunday, organising committee (OC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi has lashed out at the media for trying to portray a negative image of the organisers, saying they had used pictures that were three months old. The pictures of course had shown collapsed foot bridges, filthy bathrooms, et al.
''There were lots of stories about the games all over the Commonwealth countries and the world. But one by one, all the theories are losing weight,'' Kalmadi said at a CII-FICCI event in New Delhi on Monday. ''The games village was much in focus. Photographs taken three months back are still being shown on important channels, including the BBC.''
In the run up to the games, the village had attracted special attention, with pictures of a water-logged basement, dirty bathrooms, and a mattress with the pugmarks of dogs on it. An expose by an Australian journalist who strolled unchallenged into the main games venue lugging a large, trolley-carried suitcase that could easily have been laden with explosives, did not help matters.
Kalmadi said the buildings shown in pictures by the BBC and other media were in use by workers. ''It was different matter once the Games Village came to us and we started working on that.''
Adding that all the athletes and delegates are now praising the village, he claimed, ''It is the best Games Village anywhere, better than the Beijing Olympics Games village.''
Kalmadi also said no athlete or delegate was staying in hotels anymore, and all of them were now staying in the village. ''As of now not one person is staying in any hotel. They are loving the village,'' he said.