Monday, December 29, 2008

Sports Minister wants timely help for CWG athletes

2010 commonwealth gamesSports Minister MS Gill has asked the national federations to quickly settle contracts with coaches and ensure timely availability of sports and support equipment for the benefit of athletes undergoing training for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The directions were given after a review meeting of the progress of the 'Scheme for Preparation of Teams for Commonwealth Games' and and identification of steps required to further improve the working of this Scheme.

On the basis of feedback received during the meeting, which was attended by office bearers of different federations, officers of Sports Authority of India and Indian Olympic Association, several steps were identified to make the Scheme work more efficiently.

"The Sports Minister has given direction for ensuring that sports and support equipment and consumables are made available in time, contracts with coaches are settled expeditiously, progress of the Scheme be monitored closely and kits to sports persons coming to camps be given without any delay," a release from the Ministry said on Wednesday.

"It was also decided to make available training facilities at non-SAI venues in certain locations like Chennai for Swimming, Hyderabad for Badminton, Pune for Tennis and Shooting etc," it said.

Under the Scheme, which would cost the Government Rs 678 crores, the selection process for identifying about 1300 elite players, in 17 disciplines, 250 coaches (both Indian and foreign), and about 80 supporting personnel (physiotherapists, psychologist, masseurs etc) has been completed.

These elite players will be fully funded by Government, for intensive training of 305 days, in a year, both within, and outside the country. They will also be provided state of art, equipments, training and greater exposure in domestic and international tournaments.

The players will be assessed at regular intervals, through pre-decided monitorable parameters, till their final selection for Commonwealth Games.

The coaching camps for the selected players have commenced at the various centers of Sports Authority of India.

Sports Minister Advised To Focus On Athletes

2010 commonwealth games atheletesEfforts by the minister of sports/chairman, National Sports Commission, Engr. Sani Muhammad Ndanusa to reposition and re-brand the commission, sports federations and grassroots sports development ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, 2011 All Africa Games and the 2012 London Olympic Games have been challenged by top management of NSC who believe that the new sports minister must deviate from the old system of administering sports with papers and files to meeting the coaches and athletes in the field.

Leadership sports gathered that a top management staff told the minister during a meeting with management staff of NSC that if he wants to succeed in using sports to achieve the seven-point-agenda of the federal government, he should be ready to put on the boots and jersies to meet the athletes in the field.

"When the minister meets the coaches and athletes in the field, he will understand their problems and needs. It is the athletes that will give him result and not the pseudo-experts in the NSC".

The minister was also advised at the top management meeting to strictly adhere to the commission's budget.

"Nigerians do not want to know how much was budgeted for the commission, but how the budget whether small or large is being used to achieve desired results. We must train our athletes. The commission must be seen as athlete-friendly and the grassroots sports development as well as school sports must be given direct attention. If Nigeria must excel at the next commonwealth and Olympic games, this is the time to invest in athletes development. The NSC should reposition all the 33 national sports federations to make them effective, efficient and functional in 2009.

"The athletes must be given priority by way of improved incentives, training facilities and avoidance of the "Fire brigade" approach" in preparing for competitions. Staying in the office will not do the minister any good. He has to go to the field where the measuring lines for success and failure are found," the source said.

2010 Games venues to get 24 X 7 power: CM

2010 commonwealth gamesChief minister Sheila Dikshit assured continuous power supply at all 2010 Commonwealth Games venues. She also told that the largest gas-based power project in northern India at Bawana would be commissioned months before the Games.

Dikshit made these claims after auditing the Pragati Power III project with Union minister of state for power Jairam Ramesh on Saturday. She further stated that the 150 MW Bawana power project was being considered for a certificate giving it mega power status.

Dikshit's visit comes days after she had held a review meeting on power related issues with officials where she had asked discoms to take steps to bring relief to the consumers.

The chief minister also stated that gas supply arrangements have already been signed with GAIL, IOC and BPCL and that GAIL had started laying the pipeline and installation of gas terminal at site. An official release said a turnkey contract was awarded to BHEL on April 30 this year and NTPC has been engaged as consultant on the project. BHEL has already placed order for gas turbines and their tests would be conducted in February 2009.

Dikshit also stated that gas turbine-I would start generating 250 MW in March 2010, gas turbine-II would generate another 250 MW in May, gas turbine-III would also generate 250 MW in July. A steam turbine-I would generate 250 MW in July 2010 whereas rest 500 MW would be generated before commencement of the Games by gas turbine-IV and steam turbine-II.

Meanwhile, Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda recently claimed that the first unit of 500 MW of the 1500 MW Indira Gandhi Super Thermal Power project at Jhajjar would commence power generation by June 2010. As per agreement between the two states, Delhi and Haryana would have 50-50 share of the electricity generated from the plant.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

India rolls red-carpet for holidaymakers

Hotels in IndiaIf you have been planning to visit India - whether to engross Goa's glorious sands or ogle the Taj Mahal - at present a convivial to pack your bags. Hotel tariffs have plumped by a banging 30%, the Indian government has unleashed a batch of tourist-friendly sops and travel brokers and airlines are extending great deals.

With the fateful mix of a global economical slowdown and terror attacks eroding the development of tourist arrivals in India, tourism has taken a beating. The Mumbai terror attacks on November 26, industry experts’ regret, have ruined the tourism season even as it was unrolling. As a result, compared to the 30% growth in the sector in 2007 - and double-digit growth for the past five years - the country is expected to post a tourist arrival increase of zip this year.

This is a counterpoint from 2007, during which India saw a record number of visitors from abroad and a sharp rise in foreign exchange earnings through tourism. The number of foreign tourists in India touched a record 5 million in 2007, an increase of 12% from 2006. The approximated tourism earnings in 2007 were US$11.96 billion, compared to $8.93 billion in 2006.

This year, even till August, things were not actually so bad. Foreign arrivals had increased 10.4% compared with the comparable period last year. The foreign exchange earnings during the equivalent period rose 21.5%. Buoyed up with this growth, the industry had set itself an challenging target to more than double the number of arrivals to 10 million by 2010, when New Delhi will host the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

But all this looks unattainable now due to a compounding factors, including a plunge in the number of arrivals for the first time in six years by 2.1% in November, traditionally regarded as the beginning of the peak season. The number of visitors in November nose-dived from 532,000 in 2007 to 521,000, while the corresponding foreign exchange earnings from visitors dipped by 12.5% to $1 billion.

To make matters worse, in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks, almost 50% of bulk bookings by visitors (largely from Britain, Europe and the US) were cancelled. Travel advisories issued by the US, Britain, Australia, Canada and Singapore advising against travel to India did nothing to help things. According to Himmat Anand, co-chair of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry's tourism committee, along with corporate reservations which usually plunge at this time, no fresh bookings have been forthcoming. "India has suddenly vanished from overseas tourists' itineraries this year," he said.

What has further worsened the situation is that on account of a record tourist turnout last year, operators had invested heavily in infrastructure upgrades and refurbishments which are now cumulatively adding to their losses. "This has been among the worst times for Indian tourism in recent history," said Anil Kalsi, chairman (northern region) of the Travel Agents Association of India.

With panic buttons buzzing everywhere, the Ministry of Tourism has been forced to take pressing steps to gain footfalls to the country. It is now working on a war footing with trade associations and airlines to thrust visitor numbers through a slew of measures. The Ministry of Tourism has establish state-level committees comprised of representatives from trade associations and ministries to investigate various aspects of tourism management. Tourism Minister Ambika Soni has also urged governments of various countries not to issue travel advisories against India, simultaneously sending a message of reassurance to the world community that India is a "safe" destination.

To prevent the sector from plunging into further gloom, the Tourism Ministry is also working proactively with travel operators to revitalise inbound tourist traffic. As a part of the "promote India campaign", for instance, tour operators have been asked to pair hotel tariffs with airfares and offer attractive bonuses to visitors. Those who visit India this year will be offered sops like discounted packages for rural tourism, adventure tourism and wellness tourism on their next visit. Tour operators are also offering to sponsor at least 1,000 tourism industry reps to take a free trip to India for discussions.

Meanwhile, the ministry is computing the modalities of giving visas to tourists on arrival to further boost unencumbered travel to India. It is also expounding 22 new mega tourism destinations across the nation at an outlay of 250 million rupees (US$5.1 million) to 1 billion rupees for each destination, to infuse novelty into visitors' itineraries. To give rural tourism a push, 130 more villages have been identified as templates to showcase India's heterogeneous culture. Financial support to tour operators promoting India in the international arena has also been ratcheted up.

The government would do well to fire on all cylinders, considering that after the Mumbai massacre group bookings to popular tourist destinations like Goa, Jaipur and Kerala have plummeted remarkably. "The meltdown mayhem coupled with Mumbai's terror attacks have severely impacted Indian tourism," said Subhash Goyal, erstwhile president of Indian Association of Tour Operators. "It has had a cascading effect down the hospitality chain - from travel agents to the airlines to rent-a-car companies to the hotels."

Five-star hotel tariffs in Delhi have hit an all-time low. A room can now be had in the range of 8,000 rupees to 10,000 rupees, even though the same room fetched between 12,000 to 15,000 rupees last year. Ergo, to create demand, many hotels and resorts are offering a "Global Meltdown Tariff" which flings off 30% off the normal fare.

However, despite a raft of measures taken by the government and the hospitality sector to rejuvenate inbound tourism, industry players are still a tad wary about the Christmas-New Year season, which accounts for the bulk of their annual business.

"Ironically, this is the time when trade is [usually] booming," said Prateek Ghai of Globe Travels, a New-Delhi based travel agency. "But this time, due to a combination of factors, things are looking far too bleak!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

DDA Asked to Stop felling trees for ‘ill-conceived’ project

Stop felling treesThe central empowered committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the DDA for cutting the greens in its attempt to construct a stadium and a parking lot at the forest areas of Siri Fort.

Calling the project to construct badminton and squash courts for the 2010 Commonwealth Games “ill-conceived”, the committee at a hearing said it will “not allow” any more trees to be cut. It asked DDA to suggest a better alternative to the project.

Though a final order has not been made, the CEC indicated that it will also “not allow operation” of a 25,000 square-metre parking lot constructed in the area. The panel also said it would not permit construction of a fresh approach road to the site.

Slamming DDA for choosing the particular site for its badminton/squash court, the committee’s member-secretary M K Jiwrajka said: “I would like to know whether it was a conscious decision to choose this particular spot for the stadium where so many trees had to be cut. It is strange that this has been done as part of the ‘green games’ that the Commonwealth Games calls itself.”

At least 891 trees have been cut for the project till date, the panel noted, and “we will not allow any more trees to be cut.” Jiwrajka also said, “We do not want to allow a parking lot in the area.”

Referring to the Asiad Village Complex, which local residents say is a source of disturbance at night, he said, “People in the area have already suffered. They should not have to put up with a parking lot which will surely be made commercial later.”

Jiwrajka said, “We cannot allow the greens of Delhi to be sacrificed — that too due to poor planning. We would like DDA to come up with a good alternative, or suggest how it can be done by causing least harm to the green area.

“If a better solution is not presented, we will have to report to the Supreme Court that this is an ill-conceived plan and should be re-examined.”

The CEC members have already visited the site twice and will review it once more before passing a final decision.

Meanwhile, the residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) agitating against the project said it should be scrapped. “The stadium should be scrapped as a national example,” artist Arpana Caur, a resident of the area, said. “Rs 40 crore has been spent on the stadium, and Rs 150 crore of expenditure still remain, so the plan can be scrapped at this stage.”

Michael Skinner aiming for Commonwealth Games

Michael SkinnerMichael Skinner ended the year on a high as he helped Great Britain to a bronze medal in the European Cross Country Championships and is now setting his sights on the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The 29-year-old, from West Wickham, finished 20th in the European Championships in Brussels last Sunday, helping Great Britain clinch a team bronze behind Spain and France. He was also joined by fellow Blackheath and Bromley athlete Scott Overall who finished 39th.

Skinner was delighted to pick up a medal after missing out last year when Great Britain finished fourth.

He said: “I was pleased with my performance but more importantly as a team we finished with a medal. I ran solidly - nothing out of my skin - but it is always rewarding to run for your country as part of a team.

“I am already looking to next year’s event. After missing out on a medal in fourth place for the last two years I hope we can go even better than bronze and bring back a silver medal.”

Skinner hopes to focus on his track career in 2009 as he aims to make the England 5K team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games at Delhi in India.

He added: “I don’t what to tie myself down to cross country and I hope to get back on the track in the New Year.

“Obviously there is the World Championships coming up in August next year and I would love to be a part of that. It would be a big step for to get involved in that.

“I have just changed my coach and things are going well and my target at the moment is to be named in the team for Commonwealth Games in 2010.”

Delhi Things to See & Do Guide

Delhi Things to See & Do GuideAs crowded as parts of Delhi seem, there are still plenty of places to exercise. Jogging is popular at Lodhi Gardens in south Delhi and Nehru Park in Chanakyapuri. Several golf courses offer visitors temporary memberships, if certain conditions are met. The city also has facilities for bowling, boating, gliding, horseback riding, roller-skating and swimming.

You'll also find plenty of places to practice and learn new yoga poses. Hotels can suggest classes, and there are listings in some of the city guides. Each February in nearby Rishikesh, there's a weeklong International Yoga Festival.

Delhi also will host the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Source :

Delhi airport upgradation on fast track

Delhi airport upgradation on fast trackDelhi is on its way to getting a world class international airport.

The modernization of the Indira Gandhi International Airport being carried out by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) is on schedule. In August, the Delhi airport announced the opening of Asia’s longest runway after conducting a successful test take-off and landing.

Currently, work is on simultaneously for the construction of a new domestic terminal, the modernization of the existing international terminal, a world class integrated passenger terminal (Terminal 3) and a third runway for the airport.

The 60m wide runway is among the longest in Asia and consists of seven layers. Civil aviation minister Praful Patel inaugurated the new runway along with other senior political leaders and the top brass of the GMR led consortium that is in charge of the modernization of the IGI airport.

The new runway has nearly doubled the airport’s peak-hour capacity from 35-40 aircraft landings and take-offs to about 75.

The two earlier operational parallel runways handle nearly 700 flights a day.
Since existing runways converge and are very close to each other, simultaneous use of both runways was not possible.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) stipulates that there has to be a distance of at least 1,035 metres between two runways for simultaneous landing or takeoff. The shift to performance-based navigation (PBN) from conventional navigation system leads to a lot of reduction in the distance between two aircraft waiting to land at an airport thereby allowing faster takeoffs and landings.

PBN allows aircraft to take advantage of installed on-board technology and break from the traditional, and a bit rigid, ground based navigation system.

Upon transiting to performance based navigation, aircraft will be able to fly flexible, point-to-point routes accurately.

Other by-products of the introduction of PBN include lesser fuel burn and higher levels of safety.

According to sources, the ministry is also working on reducing the lateral displacement of aircraft, which would help in increasing air space capacity and ease traffic growth. “We have already reduced the vertical separation to 1,000 ft at a flight level of 29,000 ft and above,” a civil aviation ministry source said.

The implementation of PBN is being done with the cooperation of the Airports Authority of India, DGCA and the civil aviation ministry. While the AAI has formulated procedures for RNAV arrival and departures for Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad airports, the DGCA has laid down the minimum requirements for the aircraft and its crew to partake in the PBN. The requirements are based on the PBN manual published by the ICAO.

Work on the Passenger Terminal Building (Terminal 3) has also started. T3 will be spread over 480,000 m² and rival some of the best airports in the world. Most of the excavation work for the PTB has already been carried out. Construction of the four boarding piers has also commenced. Concrete reinforcement work for the pier footings is under progress and the base for the first pier has been completed.

The piers will house 55 contact stands for aircraft. It is estimated that over 90% of the passengers at T3 will be serviced through aerobridges.

The project is one of the largest of its kind in the country. With more than 5,000 workers, involved in the construction work, the first phase itself would consume more than 54 Lakh Metric Tonnes (MT) of aggregate, 4.5 Lakh MT of cement and 90,000 MT of steel. Around 1,000 trucks visit the site daily with the construction material in addition to more than 200 excavators, pavers, dumpers, vibratory rollers and cranes engaged in the construction activity.

In addition to the construction of the T3 and runway, work is fast progressing on the new domestic terminal as well. This terminal will be ready in mid 2008 and cater to the fast growing passenger traffic within the country. Major excavation work on the site has already been carried out. The multi-level car parks are also fast progressing and work will soon start on the expansion of the arrivals hall as well.

The modernization works of the international terminal (T2) is also on schedule. The revamped T2 will feature a whole new look with additional space being added for check-in, immigration and customs desks. T2 will feature an advanced in-line baggage handling system which will not only speed up check in process, but also make it much more safe and secure. The modernization work for T2 will also be completed by mid-2008.

New Delhi, host of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, is also sprucing up infrastructure to allow carriers like Emirates, British Airways and Air France to operate Airbus’s flagship A380 on routes to the Indian capital.

DIAL is a joint venture company; comprising the GMR Group, Airports Authority of India, Fraport, Malaysian Airport and India Development Fund.

It is working towards the modernization and restructuring of the Delhi Airport. The project being developed by DIAL under Public Private Partnership has been given the mandate to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the Delhi Airport for 30 years with an option to extend it by another 30 years.

GMR Infrastructure has also sent teams to West Asia and South-East Asia to market the 45 acres on lease.

Commonwealth Games to be Delhi Govt's top most priority

2010 Commonwealth GamesCompleting all the ongoing projects of the 2010 Commonwealth Games on time will be the topmost priority of the Sheila Dikshit Government in Delhi, Lt Governor Tejender Khanna said today.

In his address at the inaugural session of the fourth Delhi Legislative Assembly, Mr. Khanna said,'' the Commonwealth Games are scheduled for October 2010, and the city needs to complete all the ongoing projects in time for the Games. This will be the Government's top most priority.''

Asserting that the Commonwealth Games-related projects would be completed well in time, Mr. Khanna said,'' the city is growing rapidly and we have to keep pace with this growth by creating the required infrastructure of power, water, transport, health, education and other social services. The Government, in its previous term, had initiated many projects which will be pursued to be completed well in time for the Games.'' Mr. Khanna said in keeping with the National policy of promoting public transport, the Delhi Government was undertaking several measures to strengthen public transport system in the city.

''We are taking measures to phase out the blueline buses and bring in corporate entities to provide modern, low floor buses, both air conditioned and non air conditioned, for the comfort of the commuters, apart from the buses ordered by the Delhi Transport corporation.

Major policy initiatives would be taken by the Government in this regard in months to come, which would address the entire gamut of issues like air pollution, financing public transport, making DTC viable, construction of new ISBTs, bus depots, dedicated bus corridors etc,'' the Lt Governor said.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Security system to be overhauled for 2010 Commonwealth Games

Security system to be overhauled for 2010 Commonwealth GamesThe government will altogether overhaul its security system frame for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, a senior functionary said here Tuesday.”Tourism in general and medical tourism in particular have suffered negative growth in the month of November. We'll remold security arrangements to ensure that it (medical tourism) grows by at least 20 times during and after Commonwealth Games of 2010,” Tourism Secretary Sujit Banerjee said at the International Medical Tourism Summit here.

He said senior officials from all ministries connected with the Games, led by the home secretary, will collectively chalk out plans to upgrade security for tourists.

“The exercise will embark on any day and the government will ensure all possible protection not only for hospitality industry but also sites of historical importance, besides venues for the Games events,” Banerjee said.

“Medical tourism has growth potential as India provides the best of medical treatments at minimum cost,” he said, adding that tourists visiting India for medical treatment during the Games would be taken to popular tourist spots, including religious and adventure sports sites, at government expense.

The tourism secretary said the government is also considering relaxing visa norms for such tourists. Additionally, there will also be free yoga programmes for overseas tourists at several camps.

Drains to become parking areas for Commonwealth Games

Drains to become parking areas for Commonwealth GamesForeseeing heavy vehicle traffic around the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the capital's civil agency on Wednesday annunciated that 2 massive drainages in the area would be covered up to allow parking facilities.

"The MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) has sanctioned 2 schemes to develop parking zone in the area of 121,875 sq meters by covering up the two nallahs (drainages) around Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium," said MCD standing committee chairman Vijender Gupta.

The parking areas are estimated to cost a whooping Rs 3.25 billion.

"The works on the projects will commence from Dec 28 and will be completed by May 2010. A project management consultant has already been appointed for these projects," Gupta added.

The projects will involve covering the Sunehari Nallah (behind Lodhi Hotel to Dayal Singh College along Lodhi Road) and the Kushak Nallah (from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium South Gate to Bhisham Pitamah flyover).

As per the MCD, raised roads will be constructed along these stretches, and will serve as parking zone for around 700 buses.

If the feat is achieved in time, Gupta said it would definitely ease the traffic over-crowding predicted in the area during the 2010 games, as the stadium is one of the key venues for the event.

"During the coming 2010 Commonwealth Games, a number of sports activities in addition to opening and closing ceremony of games shall be organized in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Grueling vehicular movement will take place and numerous parking slots and roads will be required to ensure smooth flow of vehicle traffic," Gupta said.

After the Commonwealth Games, the MCD has proposed that a part of Kushak Nallah parking will be used in the already proposed elevated corridor from Sarai Kale Khan to INA market.

"The remaining area will be used for parking purposes by the nearby government and corporate office complexes and residential colonies, whose vehicles often spill over to the roads, causing congestion and inconvenience to the vehicular traffic and pedestrians," Gupta concluded, emphasizing the long-term utility of the scheme.

Dikshit brushes up 2010 Commonwealth Games projects

2010 Commonwealth Games projectsDelhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Monday brushed up the in progress construction work of 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG) projects in the city. Dikshit visited 3 different CWG projects, the Thyagraj Stadium (TS), Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (JNS) and Indira Gandhi Stadium (IGS) to see the work in progress. Special Advisor CWG Ramesh Narayanswami accompanied her.

She investigated about the plan and position of respective projects and instructed functionaries to assure foolproof security measures.

The Congress leader was apprised of the various features of the Thyagraj Sports Complex, which is being re-developed after pulling down the old structure.

“It was reported that the construction is going on in full swing and is one calendar month ahead of schedule,” said a government official.

Dikshit asked the functionaries of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to facelift neighboring vicinities.

Dikshit visited the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium where upgradation, renovation and new construction work are in progress.

This complex would have a new administrative block, National Dope Testing Laboratory and Media Centre. The complex will be disabled-friendly and environment-friendly.

Dikshit also visited the Indira Gandhi Stadium where the present gymnastics stadium is being renovated and a new wrestling stadium and a cycling velodrome are coming up.

SC allows construction at 2010 Games site

SC allows construction at 2010 Games siteThe Supreme Court (SC) on Monday lengthened the stay on a Delhi high court judicial decision constituting a committee to evaluate the perceived harmful ecologic affect of the building of 1,100 flats, allegedly on the Yamuna bed, for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

It would also analyze the validity of the four-member committee, headed by environmental scientist RK Pachauri to assess the adverse impact on the environment, it added. On November 3, the HC refused to approve the construction and appointed a committee to assess the perceived adverse ecological impact of the project.

A bench of chief justices KG Balakrishnan and P Sathasivam extended the stay till the third week of January 2009 as the government's organising committee argued that if any restriction were to be imposed on the construction, it would lead to over 71 countries claiming damages from the Delhi government and the panel.

However, Tapas, an NGO, in its appeal said that apart from construction activities related to the Games, authorities have also been alleged permitting other illegal construction on the riverbed.
The game organising committee lawyer, additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam submitted that the government had spent Rs30,000 crore on building infrastructure like flyovers and roads for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

On December 5 last, the SC stayed the November 3 HC order after the solicitor general Goolam E Vahanvati assailed the judgment on the ground that it would "jeopardise" the conduct of the Games for which crores of rupees had already been invested.

Vahanvati added HC had erroneously concluded that the construction was being carried out on the riverbed and disregarded and ignored voluminous scientific literature and opinion of experts.
HC had, refrained from staying the construction activity, but made it clear that any structure which has been built or will be constructed would be subject to its final order.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dedicated medicine unit for sportspersons set up in Delhi

Keeping the 2010 Commonwealth Games in mind, the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) in the capital has set up a dedicated sports medicine unit which will specifically provide diagnosis and treatment to sportspersons. The sports medicine unit will be involved in multi faceted activities including care of injured sportsmen, training of medical manpower and research in sports medicine and injuries.

The unit will offer facilities to test the fitness of anybody intending to take up sporting activities, sports programmes for disabled sportspersons and tie-ups with existing sports facilities in and around the capital.

H.S. Chhabra, medical director of ISIC said: “With Delhi gearing up for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, it is extremely important that sportspersons and anyone involved in active sports understand the importance of right treatment for sports related injuries.”

“The primary objective of setting up a sports unit is to treat the injured athlete by specially trained surgeons, educating the doctors, physiotherapists and giving the right diagnosis and treatment,” Chhabra said.

“There will be yearly courses held to keep the health professionals, both doctors and physiotherapists, up to date with the latest developments in sports medicine.

“The sports unit will also fulfil the function of fitness assessment of people who are restarting a sporting activity after a long break and need proper assessment of their cardio vascular fitness level to avoid injuries or damage to their heart and lungs,” Chhabra added.

Web-based monitoring system for CWG

Amid reports of lax preparation of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, sports ministry has gone high-tech by developing a "web-based monitoring system" to make sure all work is completed on time.

Sports minister MS Gill assured that preparations were on full swing and revealed that they were using the state-of-the-art system to keep a tab on preparations so that the deadline to carry out the job was met.

"After obtaining the necessary regulatory clearances, the work on the 13 competition venues and most of the training venues has commenced and is continuing apace," Gill said.

"Time Lines, against monitorable parameters are being monitored, on a web-based monitoring system developed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports," he told the Rajya Sabha in reply to a question on Thursday.

"The projects are expected to be completed in time for the Commonwealth Games," he added.

Delhi was recently asked by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to speed up their preparations for the prestigious quadrennial event.