Indian Prime Minister Calls Games Crisis Meeting

by
staphni
" India's prime minister called a meeting with two ministers for Thursday evening as the country scrambles to pull together the problem-plagued Commonwealth Games. Sports Minister M.S. Gill and Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy are to meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said Singh spokesman Harish Khare. Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram set timelines Thursday for the organizing committee and other authorities to complete any work on the Games, the Home Ministry said, though it released no details about the deadlines or possible consequences for missing them. Commonwealth Games chief Mike Fennell was expected in New Delhi on Thursday, but the prime minister's office said Fennell has not yet requested a meeting with Singh.India's ability to host the Games, which begin a week from Sunday, has been put in doubt after a bridge collapse and criticism of the athletes' village as ""uninhabitable"" and ""filthy."" New Zealand and Canada became the latest Commonwealth members to delay their delegations' departures for the Games because of hygiene and security. New Zealand's Olympic Committee said its athletes were supposed to arrive this weekend, but now may not arrive until Tuesday. Canada postponed the departure for the women's field hockey team, two shooting athletes, and staff including medical professionals for two days, Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) announced. ""The bottom line is that the accommodations in the athletes' village simply aren't ready,"" said Scott Stevenson, CGC's director of sport. Concerns over the Games' village ""We're working extremely hard with local authorities to get the finishing work and the clean-up done, but it's going to take more time. More importantly, we have not received the official clearance from the host organizing committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation that the village is ready for its official opening."" Scotland was the first to announce it was delaying its delegation's departure, saying Tuesday the athletes