Six killed, dozens injured in collapse of new bridge near stadium. Highlights shoddy construction throughout venues, residences.
Tourists attacked by Muslim terrorists, Athletes’ residences “unsafe, unfit for human habitation”, no show visitors.
Should Barbados pull our team?
Less than a fortnight to go before the best of our Barbadian athletes compete in the Commonwealth Games in India – but no one is sure if they will have fit accommodations, if the venue will be properly secured or whether empty seats in the spectators’ gallery will have to be filled with locals grabbed off the street.
According to numerous stories in the world news media, all these issues and more are creating a perfect storm that threatens the very existence of the Delhi games.
With today’s bridge collapse comes serious and understandable calls for cancellation of the games. Scotland and New Zealand say they are on the verge of heading home.
Rebar? Are we supposed to put rebar in the concrete?
First up, only 24 hours prior to today’s bridge collapse Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell said the poor conditions at Athletes Village “shocked” his inspectors. Some teams have already refused their accommodations and alternatives are being sought. Canada, Scotland, New Zealand and Ireland are saying their athletes’ residences are “unlivable”.
News reports have ceased being hopeful and “balanced” and are reporting the full scale of the disaster. There are reports of toilets that flush perfectly, but unfortunately are unconnected to any sewer. The electric wiring in some apartments is said to be such that turning on a switch is like playing the lottery – one never knows what might happen. For months the Indian news media reported substandard building practices due to corruption, so this isn’t a big surprise.
The reported lack of proper steel reinforcement in the highrise athlete apartments has managers and games personnel looking nervously at cracks in walls and stairs. No wonder! Yesterday a huge canopy at the new stadium came crashing down, and this morning the new bridge collapsed.
Apparently the last minute rush to take care of the problems that can be fixed is being hampered by the intense security that understandably surrounds the residences and venues.
Muslim Terrorists issue threats, shoot tourists, set off bombs
Muslim terrorists claimed responsibility for the shooting of two Taiwanese tourists in New Delhi on Sunday and the setting off of a car bomb three hours later.
Considering that Muslim jihadists murdered 166 innocent men, women and children in the the Mumbai massacre less than 2 years ago, holding the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi has been a security concern all along. Potential tourists are rightly concerned that attending the Games might be a high risk activity – especially now that misunderstanders of the “religion of peace” renewed their vows to murder athletes and spectators – and then machine-gunned tourists last Sunday. Yup. Nothing like killing some infidels between morning and afternoon prayers to get Allah smiling.
Tourism? What tourism?
“The bookings were good before the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai. But since then the tourist bookings have come down. Now, there is zero response for the Commonwealth Games. Our family has decided to shut down the place…”
Bed & Breakfast owner Kamal Ahluwalia as quoted in the India Times article No-show by tourists, B&B rooms go empty
Should Barbados recall our athletes?
Barbados Free Press says leave that decision to our athletes – recognizing, of course, it might be taken out of their hands by the pullout of other nations.
Whether the Delhi Commonwealth Games go ahead or not, there are many lessons to be learned. Some of those lessons Barbadians already learned during our own Cricket World Cup debacle, which, thank God, turned out to only be embarrassing and expensive rather than deadly.
In the case of Delhi, it looks like the combination of Muslim terrorism and political corruption produced a Perfect Storm that may sink the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Times of India: 6 killed, 13 injured in Metro bridge collapse in Delhi
Guardian: Commonwealth Games athletes’ village is ‘unfit for human habitation’ (also photo credit)