Saturday, 20 February 2010

CWG catering: OC floats fresh tenders

With only eight months to go for the Commonwealth Games, the organizing committee is finally looking beyond venues and consistently missed deadlines. It has now floated a tender to look for caterers for not only the Games Village but also for the various venues, including Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.

Lalit Bhanot, spokesperson for the OC, said, "Earlier last year, the 2010 Commonwealth Games OC had chosen a caterer for the Games Village. However, it was felt that with only one quotation coming in, it wasn't the best decision to choose that firm. Instead, we preferred to float fresh tenders."

The decision, however, has drawn criticism from within the OC. Sources in the OC confirmed that a decision on selecting the firm as master caterer for the 2010 Games would only be taken in late March, after the technical and commercial bids were studied.

"Thereafter, it will take another three-four months for the kitchens to be set up and the menus to be finalized. It's a time consuming process," said a senior OC official. With venue operations schedules going off-track due to construction delays, sources said setting up of the catering, a major component of the venue operations, needed to be in place. "It's not just catering at the Games Village but also at sports venues and the designated accommodations that have been earmarked for the delegates. The logistics involved are huge," added the source.

The late decision to go in for floating fresh tenders, added sources, could only delay the function.

For Bhanot though, it doesn't seem to be a worry. "The response to our re-tendering has been very good. By July, the logistics will be in place and this will give plenty of time to prepare for the Games," added Bhanot.

Incidentally, the caterers for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne were chosen more than a year in advance. "There is time. It's not that we are looking for food to be made for a thousand-strong contingent from tomorrow," added Bhanot. While that may be debatable, the fact remains that OC's efforts to get its accommodation plans in place have also been lagging behind. Neither the DDA flats nor the hotels are ready even as its venue planning refuses to get off the ground.


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