Wednesday, September 22, 2010

After overbridge, Nehru Stadium ceiling falls

A portion of a false ceiling at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main venue of the Commonwealth Games, collapsed here on Wednesday, a day after a foot overbridge near the stadium came crashing down. No one was injured. Cabinet secretary K.M. Chandreshekhar told television channels that the collapse was not an issue to be "worried about".

"The cables which were to be set up for the data network were placed on the false ceiling and due to the weight of the cables the ceiling fell off. It's a minor thing and it will be corrected. It's not a matter to be worried about," Chandreshekhar told CNN-IBN channel.

The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), the agency which renovated the stadium, said tiles came down as maintenance work was being carried out. The weightlifting event is scheduled to be held at the newly built hall where the ceiling fell.

"Maintenance work was being carried in the false ceiling and two tiles have fallen. It is just a matter of time we will get it right. We have to take the scaffold to a certain height and tighten it. Nobody was injured," Rajendra Kala of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), told reporters.

Sahdev Yadav, secretary general of the Indian Weightlifting Federation, added: "The false sealing has not fallen down. We were facing some problems in the AC duct in the false ceiling and that's the reason we were carrying out the repair work in the roof."

The incident comes just a day after an under-construction foot overbridge collapsed near the stadium, injuring 27 labourers. Though there were no injuries on Tuesday, the mishap adds to the huge embarrassment the Games Organising Committee has been facing in the run up to the Games, only 11 days away.

Several foreign contingents have complained about the state of the Games village, with some labelling conditions as "filthy and unlivable".

Some 7,000 participants and officials from 71 countries and territories are expected to attend the October 3-14 Commonwealth Games, India's biggest sporting event after the 1982 Asian Games