South Asia

Rain chaos in Delhi delays Commonwealth Games projects

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Media captionMark Dummett visits a site where workers are unable to do any work

Heavy monsoon rains in the Indian capital, Delhi, are hampering the building work for the Commonwealth Games due to start in October.

Construction at half of the sites is way behind schedule and rain water has flooded many streets and brought rush-hour traffic to a standstill.

Authorities say rainfall in Delhi in August has surpassed a 15-year record.

Water level in the Yamuna river has crossed the danger mark and 1,500 people have been moved to relief camps.

Heavy rains have also caused major flooding across northern India with many rivers in spate.

Shelters under water

A huge effort is under way to try to get all the different infrastructure projects finished in time before the start of the Commonwealth Games.

But most venues are still surrounded by large brown muddy puddles.

Image caption Many Delhi streets are flooded

The BBC's Mark Dummett visited one construction site where he saw workers sitting on plastic sheets, doing absolutely no work at all.

Most of the workers are migrants from the states of Bihar or Jharkhand and have been living in makeshift shelters on a low-lying area next to the road for months.

Since Tuesday night's rain, their homes have been under water and some can be seen swimming back and forth to save at least some of their possessions, our correspondent says.

Yamuna river normally runs alongside the Indian capital at a trickle, but currently appears ready to burst its banks.

The government has set up 160 relief camps to accommodate those who live in areas near the river, some of which have been flooded already.

This city really is struggling to cope, our correspondent says.

Every time it rains there are massive traffic jams, sewers are blocked and overflowing, there are power cuts and uprooted trees.

With so much stagnant water the number of dengue fever cases, a disease spread by mosquitoes, has increased dramatically compared with last year.

But the government says all will be well and the projects will all be completed in time.

One minister recently said that everything would come together at the end just like in an Indian wedding.

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