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NEW DELHI: With just two days to go, a substantial section of the 7,000 artistes expected to perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony do not have security clearance to enter the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.
“From the security angle, there is a problem with clearances,” Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy said while speaking to journalists after a meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the Games here.
“The Delhi Police Commissioner [Y.S. Dadwal] was also here, and we are discussing with him how to expedite entry into the stadium both for rehearsals and the actual ceremony,” Mr. Reddy added.
He said that while a “large number” have been given accreditation cards which would provide them entry, not all artistes have the requisite security clearance.
New caterers added
Another issue that cropped up on Wednesday was the late delivery and poor quality of meals served to the police and volunteers on duty at the Games.
Following complaints about the food served by caterer Aggarwal Foods, the Organising Committee took a snap decision to rope in “five or six more caterers,” according to a member of the GoM.
Popular fast food chain Nirula's and snacks producer Bikaner are among those who have been asked to chip in at the last minute, the source said.
“Actually, the OC was begging caterers, ‘Please come, please come,' because Aggarwal Foods was simply not delivering,” the source said, adding that the caterers were supplying to venues based on the proximity of locations.
The number of catering vehicles and drivers has now been increased to 30. The vehicles have been provided stickers and drivers have been told to use the special lane reserved for the Games, in an effort to beat the traffic and deliver meals on time to over 10,000 people.
Satisfied with Village
Mr. Reddy said that the degree of satisfaction about the Games Village was now very high, despite earlier criticism.The Urban Development Minister's office said there would be no further meetings of the Group of Ministers as the group had “completed its work.”
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