Commonwealth Games

Delhi battles with bugs

2010-10-05 13:59
Bugs (File)

New Delhi - Athletes at the Commonwealth Games are battling a plague of Delhi bugs as much as opponents with organisers forced to blanket venues with a pungent insecticide after an influx of insects.

Sunday's opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium drew thousands of spectators - and just as many moths - prompting organisers to send an SOS to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to deal with the problem.

Local media reported that the MCD health wing had sprung into action, spraying insecticide in the main stadium, and a similar operation would be carried out in other venues as well.

"These moths gather around the lights during night and settle down in the area during the daytime and create trouble," an unnamed MCD official told the Hindustan Times newspaper.

"The problem intensified on Monday morning. But now the situation is under control."

Similar problems were witnessed at the dusty Dr. SP Mukherjee Aquatic Complex, venue of the swimming event, where the men's 4x100m relay was delayed as stray insects were fished out of the pool.

"I pointed the bugs out to (Australian swimmer) Eamon Sullivan before the race and we had a good laugh about it," English swimmer Liam Tancock said.

"I'd never seen anything like it ever before."

The bugs are not the only unwanted visitors at the Games, where security remains incredibly tight with thousands of armed police on the Delhi streets as well as at venues for the 12-day event.

Along with the police, stray dogs and large beetles are also proving a common site at venues in the evening.

However, the authorities' decision to rent grey langurs, a giant monkey with a black face, to thwart common monkeys from descending on venues appears to be working.

As does the MCD's pre-games drive against the influx of rats with few sightings of the pests so far.

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