Monkeys ‘Deployed’ As ‘Guards’ Of India Games

A week ago I wrote about the obstacles facing India in staging the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Monkeys on guard at Commonwealth Games

(What could go wrong?)

Apparently a citywide Dengue plague, hordes of wild monkeys terrorizing citizens around Games venues, piles of excrement and wild cobras being found in rooms of the Games athletes village, the collapse of two construction projects, and a reporter breaching multiple security checkpoints with a hidden bomb wasn’t enough to stop this Sunday’s Opening Ceremonies.

But thanks to the newly-reported scale and scope of India’s security plan for the Games, it now turns out that Usain Bolt, who pulled out of the event because of the aforementioned concerns, won’t know what he’s missing.

REUTERS reports that around the Games venues and athletes village, India has “deployed” 100,000 security guards, army sniper units, soldiers manning mobile surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft guns and 38 monkeys.

38 monkeys?

NDTV (New Delhi Television) has a delightful video report about the monkeys (so cute!) along with some sweet bonus coverage online:

Read more…

Excrement, Plague, Venue Collapse: Hello Delhi!

Opening Ceremonies for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, are less than two weeks away, so I thought we’d check in to see how preparations are going courtesy REUTERS, the ASSOCIATED PRESS and the LONDON GUARDIAN.

Commonwealth Games preparation in India is in chaos

  • A portion of false ceiling in the weightlifting venue caved in today.
  • Yesterday, 27 workers were injured when a footbridge collapsed near the same sports complex.
  • A dengue epidemic, blamed on stagnant water around unfinished Games construction sites, has plagued New Delhi and hundreds of people have been hospitalized.
  • Less than a week after two tourists were shot and wounded by unapprehended assailants in Delhi, an Australian TV reporter purchased bomb-making devices in the city which were then promptly smuggled through Games security points.
  • In the official athletes village, “monsoon rains had flooded some of the rooms, while air conditioning and electrical sockets weren’t working in others.”
  • The head of the Scottish delegation of athletes said the Commonwealth Games Village is “unsafe and unfit for human habitation. … There have been dogs roaming around the village, the apartments are filthy, there are piles of rubble and right now it’s not fit to receive 6,500 athletes and officials.Read more…