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Page last updated at 08:41 GMT, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 09:41 UK

NI officials monitor Delhi Commonwealth village worries

Security at Delhi 2010
Tight security around the site has slowed building work

Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games officials are monitoring reports expressing concern about the athletes village for the event in Delhi.

Scottish officials found their original accommodation to be "unsafe and unfit for human habitation" while England say that "urgent work" must be done.

"We do (have concerns) when we receive reports like these," said Northern Ireland official Robert McVeigh.

"We have two people heading out there today and we will know more soon."

England are "optimistic" they will compete at the Games which begin on 3 October.

But overall Games chief Michael Fennell admits the village is "seriously compromised".

The English team claim that India's monsoon weather has revealed new plumbing and electrical problems ahead of the arrival of their first athletes on Thursday.

It's going to be extremely hard to get across the line

New Zealand team manager David Currie

"Commonwealth Games England remains optimistic that England participation at the Games can go ahead," read a statement.

"However there is a lot still to be done in the Village and this needs to be done with some urgency."

New Zealand, along with Canada, have described the conditions in the Village as "unliveable" and found alternative rooms for their 300-strong contingent of athletes and officials.

New Zealand team manager David Currie believes the whole event may be put in danger.

"If the village is not ready and athletes can't come, obviously the implications of that are that it's not going to happen," he told radio network newstalk ZB.

"Unless there is tremendous effort and energy and problem-solving ability to get it done, it's going to be extremely hard to get across the line."

Northern Ireland chief de mission McVeigh said that a contingency has been put in place for his team to move to alternative accommodation in the games village if their scheduled quarters are not ready.

"We have Stuart Tosh and Terry Crothers heading out to Delhi today and no doubt we will have a report later this week," added the Northern Ireland official.

"We got a report from England yesterday saying that the competition venues were in an excellent stage, that the catering hall was first class and that the international zone was complete.

"If you move on to any building site a week or two before it's due to be occupied, it would be uninhabitable as well.

"We don't know what Scotland's condition is. Perhaps we'll know later today when we will be in contact with them.

"There will also be a conference (call) with the British High Commission in Delhi."

The village officially opens to 7000 athletes and officials on Thursday.

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