RMJM saw problems with Delhi games job
Delhi Commonwealth Games masterplanner RMJM has revealed it pulled out of the project shortly after winning the contract because of fears that there were “issues” with the job.
The 2010 games, due to start on October 3, made headlines around the world this week when a bridge at the main stadium collapsed injuring 23 workers; and teams threatened to pull out after learning of “filthy” conditions at the athlete’s village.
RMJM announced in June last year it had won a contract to oversee the delivery of key venues including the athletes’ village and the international broadcast centre but withdrew just days later.
BD understands RMJM carried out a two month planning exercise for the games organising committee, to ensure a coherency among the venues, but had problemss getting paid and declined to do any further work as a result.
A spokesman for the practice, which is designing the £300 million village for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, said: “We have not been involved in this project for 15 months. It became clear that there were a number of issues surrounding the project and we took a conscious decision not to pursue any further involvement in Delhi 2010.”
The project was to be overseen by Hong Kong-based John Pauline, who also worked on Beijing’s Watercube and the London 2012 handball venue with Make.
Another international firm of architects told BD it had pulled out of the same contest in early 2009 because of the “chaotic state of the procurement process”.
“There was a lack of interest from the UK in general because of the chaotic procedures from the outset,” said a source.
“There was clearly going to be a risk of losing a lot of money. The competition was completely unstructured.”
A contract to build the village, which has 34 towers and 8,000 flats, was won by Indian builder Emaar MGF Land in a private public partnership with the Delhi Development Authority.
Last week the contractor said it had completed the village and “set a defining example of superior Indian skills and capabilities”.
But once delegation officials started to arrive at the village it became clear that it was not ready for use, with Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Hooper branding it “filthy”.
Games village mayor Dalbir Singh said gaps in the work had been identified and action taken.
“It is an ongoing process and a structure for maintenance is in place,” he said. “We will resolve all concerns.”