With just 12 days to go for the Games, a new foot over-bridge near the main venue of the Games, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, collapsed last evening, injuring 23 laborers, five of them critically.
The Games were meant to instill a sense of pride in Delhi, but many fed-up citizens are threatening to leave the city or take no part in the event.
The deadline for Delhi to be Games-ready was initially 31 March. After several extensions – first to 30 June, then to 31 July, then 31 August – it is now end-September.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit said it would be the best the world has seen. But she has made a joke of our country.” With time fast running out, Mrs Dixit is seeking divine intervention. “It appears that Lord Indhra [the rain god] is unhappy with us,” she said at the weekend.
“I will appeal to him to bring some sunshine. If the rain stops and sun comes out, we will be able to complete the work by 10-15 September. Otherwise we will have to extend the deadline. “By the grace of god, we will be able to finish everything by 3 October.” If that does not happen, Delhi and India could be facing major embarrassment.
When one in three Indians lives below the poverty line and 40% of the hungry live in India, when 46% of India’s children and 55% of women are malnourished, does spending billions of dollars on a 12-day sports event build national pride or is it a matter of national shame? Are we really ready for such a show biz now?! Its a shame show rather a game show…