Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Scotland sets High Standards to Qualify for 2010 CWG Team

Scotland sets High Standards to Qualify for 2010 CWG TeamScotland's track-and-field athletes will be expected to prove themselves capable of competing at the highest level if they want to be selected in the team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

The qualifying standards for athletics, announced yesterday, are based on what it would have taken to be in the top eight in the last Games, held in Melbourne in 2006. The qualifying period for all events barring the marathon begins on 1 May, with athletes being required to meet the standard at least twice. Marathon runners only have to meet their standard once, and their qualifying period begins on 25 April, the day before the Flora London Marathon.

"Whilst specific to athletics, the standards reflect the aim across all sports of athletes finishing in the top eight, based on performances at the last Commonwealth Games," Jon Doig, the chief executive of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said yesterday.

For some of Scotland's most experienced international athletes, the marks should be achieved as a matter of course between the start of the qualifying period and its end on 30 June 2010. Shirley Webb's Scottish record for the hammer, for instance, is 67.58 metres comfortably ahead of the qualifying mark of 62.00m. On the track, Andrew Lemoncello's personal best for the 3,000m steeplechase of 8min 22.95sec is also well within the required time.

For others, however, qualifying may well be tougher, and it is hoped that the standards will push them on to better themselves this season and next. "These standards are unquestionably tough in many events," said Nigel Hetherington, the performance development manager of Scottish Athletics.

"However, they are also realistic and attainable by a healthy number of Scots and broadly represent what it would have taken to achieve a top-eight finish in Melbourne 2006. For Scotland to achieve the performance outcomes demanded in Glasgow 2014 and to make a serious impact on Team GB in London 2012, a strong showing is essential in Delhi 2010 to show we are absolutely on track."

2010 Commonwealth Games: Scottish qualifying standards

Men: 100 metres: 10.25sec. 200m: 20.65. 400m: 45.55. 800m: 1min 47.80. 1,500m: 3:41.30. 5,000m: 13:30. 10,000m: 28:38. Marathon: 2hr 19.00. 3,000m steeplechase: 8:36. 110m hurdles: 13.70. 400m hurdles: 49.80. High jump: 2m 17cm. Pole vault: 5.20. Long jump: 7.85. Triple jump: 16.30. Shot: 17.60. Discus: 56.00. Hammer: 66.00. Javelin: 75.00. Decathlon: 7,400 points. 20km walk: 1hr 32. 4x100m relay: 39.50sec. 4x400m relay: 3min 04.50.

Women: 100m: 11.45sec. 200m: 23.35. 400m: 52.25. 800m: 2min 01.80. 1,500m: 4:09. 5,000m: 15:35. 10,000m: 32:35. Marathon: 2hr 38. 3,000m steeplechase: 9:55. 100m hurdles: 13.40. 400m hurdles: 56.90. High jump: 1m 83cm. Pole vault: 4.15. Long jump: 6.40. Triple jump: 13.30. Shot: 16.50. Discus: 55.00. Hammer: 62.00. Javelin: 54.00. Heptathlon: 5,600 points. 20km walk: 1hr 41. 4x100m relay: 44.50sec. 4x400m relay: 3min 32.00.

DDA Steps in to Solve CWG Accommodation Problem

DDA Steps in to Solve CWG Accommodation ProblemIt’s nothing less than three-star comfort a complex that would allow privacy, give you an option to cook for yourself or bite into an economical meal at its common eating facilities and also provide a dedicated shuttle service to take you to the Games venues and tourist destinations. That’s a glimpse into the 5,000-odd DDA flats in Vasant Kunj and Jasola being readied for tourists during the Commonwealth Games. The first sample flat is likely to be complete by March 31.

With clear indications about the capital falling short of meeting the 30,000 hotel room requirement for 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Union tourism ministry and DDA have evolved a strategy to use these under-construction DDA flats to deal with the shortfall. Work on the refurbishment plan of these flats took off recently.

While the DDA is responsible for finishing construction at the earliest, the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has been entrusted with the job of furnishing these flats to meet 3-star hotel standards. The secretaries of the Union tourism and sports ministries visited the Vasant Kunj site last week to review the progress.

According to sources, the tourism ministry is planning to introduce the accommodation facility for interested tourists through an official link on the Games website of the organising committee. The central booking for these flats will be monitored by ITDC.

Those who decide to book will have the option of taking up separate rooms or an entire flat. These complexes, developed as private areas for tourists, will be monitored and run by the hospitality sector under ITDC’s supervision. Moreover, a dedicated shuttle service is on the cards to ensure visitors are able to make it to the Games venues and tourist spots.

Authorities have realized that the 30,000 room requirement will not be met through the hotel sector. ‘‘The government is expecting the capital and NCR put together to generate around 14,000-odd new hotel rooms by 2010. Thus the need to look at alternatives like DDA flats and guest houses,’’ said a source.

CWG Special Task Force: Govt reviews plan

CWG Special Task Force: Govt reviews planAfter IPL Row And Criticism, MHA Holds Meeting To Take Stock Of Situation

A day after apprehensions were raised in certain quarters over the security of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the wake of the IPL controversy, the home ministry on Tuesday reviewed the security preparedness for the mega event and asked the agencies concerned to strengthen and modernize forces well in advance.

Discussions were also held about the composition of the Special Task Force (STF), which is being set up for the overall security of the Games Village and sports venues.

The meeting, presided over by home secretary Madhukar Gupta, assumed significance in view of the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on March 3. The incident has raised concerns in India as well where a number of states expressed their inability to provide security to IPL matches which were to coincide with general elections in the country.

Though the IPL organizers finally decided to shift the matches outside India, the episode witnessed criticism of the government from certain quarters.

Raising questions over government’s preparedness to provide security to sporting events, BJP leader Arun Jaitley had on Monday raised questions about providing security to the Commonwealth Games if it could not be done for the IPL matches.

Referring to Tuesday’s review meeting, sources in the home ministry said the Delhi Police and CISF which are the main components of the STF along with other agencies that would play a major role in securing the Games Village and sports venues gave their progress report and assured the ministry about finishing their ongoing modernization exercise well in time.

‘‘The meeting also reviewed arrangements at construction sites as part of security vetting of construction plans,’’ said a senior home ministry official.

The ministry had recently issued security guidelines for under-construction sites to all the concerned contractors and landowning agencies for implementation. Accordingly, steps have been taken on police verification of workers, perimeter security and access control. ‘‘The construction plans for all venues including the Commonwealth Games village are being vetted by Delhi Police from the security point of view,’’ the official said.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CWG Organising Committee Seeking Electronic System Suppliers

Commonwealth games organising committee is seeking for suppliers to supply Multi Sports Electronic scoring, timing and results equipment for 2010 commonwealth games.

In this regard they are placing advertisements in various dailies and other commercial and electronic media. Lets see how their efforts works..

Reality Show: All CWG Projects Lagging Behind Time

General view as construction continues at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Delhi. The Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium is to host the Archery, Cycling, Gymnastics and Wrestling competitions of the Commonwealth Games 2010. Renovation is scheduled to be completed December 31, 2009. God Knows ......... Are they themselves aware of the timeline.......... What do you think..?

A labourer walks at the Thyagraj sports complex, one of the venues for the Commonwealth Games 2010, in New Delhi

Metrological Dept Steps In To Check Pollution

Metrological Dept Steps In To Check PollutionDuring 2010 Games, Real Time Data Will Help Improve Air Quality

In my opinion the metrological department is the worst department in the central government, breeding on the money of loyal taxpayers. There are lots of examples which every Indian knows very well. When they predict of drought, there occurs flood and vice versa.

When they predict of sunny day there comes the rain. They always blame to the inaccurate instruments they have and the Adam era technology they are following but in my opinion they are all jerks and need to be terminated from employment.

Doesn’t matter, what Met department has to say about 2010 commonwealth games , that makes the news ……… So read on...

By the end of next year, Delhi will have its own air quality monitoring model that will be able to predict pollution levels on a particular day based on meteorological conditions. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is in talks with the environment ministry to set up such a model for the Capital before the 2010 Commonwealth Games so that the city will be able to take suitable measures to mitigate pollution levels as and when required.

On the eve of World Meteorological Day being celebrated on Monday, director general of IMD, Ajit Tyagi said that this was part of IMD’s larger plan for modernization of metro cities of which Delhi was its first target.

‘‘We have Rs 900 crore project planned for upgrade and modernization of the Met department under which there is a special plan for metros. By next year, the NCR will 60 automatic weather stations that will not only forecast but also give real time data that will be able on GIS maps. This is going to be a Delhi-specific forecast. It will also be used during the Commonwealth Games for weather support as we will be recording heat stress factor, wind and weather changes in a three-hour forecast for specific locations like various stadiums,’’ he said.

A preliminary version of the air quality forecasting model will be ready with the department by next year. Based on pollution data and weather predictions, the environment department will be able to assess the pollution levels on a particular day.

‘‘Pollution levels on a day depend on meteorological conditions like wind and precipitation. If we can make that available to the environment department, they can, along with the knowledge of the sources of pollution, take steps to ensure that levels stay under control,’’ explained Tyagi.

This year’s theme for the World Meteorological Day, quite pertinent for the Indian context especially, is ‘weather, climate and the air we breathe’.

According to the Met department, Delhi saw a steady increase in number of fog days till 2000 and a slight decrease thereafter. Dust acts like a nucleus for fog formation and higher levels of pollution due to increase in number of vehicles and construction activity led to the number of fog days rising in 2008.

This was a local phenomenon since such an effect was not seen at other places. ‘‘The decrease probably happened due to the introduction of CNG. However, in 2008 the Palam area witnessed larger number of fog days. This did not have so much to do with vehicular pollution as with dust due to large scale construction taking place around the airport,’’ said Tyagi.

IMD director general Ajit Tyagi says climate data will play a key role in predicting pollution

Sunday, March 22, 2009

We will Take No Risk: Delhi Police Commissioner

We will Take No Risk: Delhi Police CommissionerDelhi Police Commissioner Y. S. Dadwal on Wednesday said that the overall security scenario and commitments for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections had prompted the police to take a stand against holding the India Premier League (IPL) cricket matches in the Capital.

“I don’t think I will take this risk. We have election commitments as well as other security concerns. To ensure safe elections we need additional police personnel, especially in the wake of what happened to the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan recently,” said Mr. Dadwal addressing a press conference.

Delhi and some other cities have been dropped as venues in the latest schedule for the second edition of IPL, which is still awaiting a green signal from the Union Home Ministry.

‘We are stretched’

Stating that security in the Capital had been tightened after the serial blasts in Delhi last September and the more recent Mumbai terror attacks, Mr. Dadwal said: “We are stretched. I will have to withdraw personnel from their present assignments to provide security for IPL matches. We are all cricket fans, but my priority is to provide security to the people.”

When it was pointed out that Mumbai had agreed to host IPL matches despite the terror attacks four months ago, Mr. Dadwal said: “You compare the size of Mumbai with Delhi. It is a part of Maharashtra and it has a huge reserve of armed forces.”

As for security for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Mr. Dadwal said: “By that time, 10,000 more personnel will be recruited to the police force. There are no elections in 2010. The Central Government will also be in a position to provide us additional force. We will have world class security in place for the Games.”


2010 Games to be Broadcasted in High Definition

2010 Games to be Broadcasted in High DefinitionIndia public broadcaster Doordarshan says it will carry the 2010 Commonwealth Games in HD. The Commonwealth Games broadcasting rules require that the host broadcaster produce an international broadcast feed in HD.

New Delhi, India’s capital city, is the host for the Games (Oct 3-14, 2010) and is reportedly upgrading and modernizing its equipment and will be able to relay HD signals to its own citizens and the outside world. Doordarshan’s Chief Engineer R R Prasad said: “The existing technology at Prasar Bharati is being upgraded. DD is also trying to put at least one high-definition (HD) channel on its DTH (satellite) service to enable screening of the Games.”

But the public broadcaster is on a tight timetable. With barely 18 months to go before the event, Doordarshan is only now considering upgrading its analogue transmitters, and obtaining quotes for an upgrade. New HD studios in Delhi and Mumbai are planned along with improved facilities in Chennai and Kolkata.

Source :

KISS Students Selected for 2010 Commonwealth GamesThree tribal boys of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), a sister concern of KIIT, have been selected to play in 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi as a part of Indian Rugby Contingent.

The selected students, all under 20 age group, are Bhagabata Murmu, Basu Hemrum and Sankha Hemrum.

Bhagabata Murmu and Sankha Hemrum belong to Madhapur village and Nuagan village of Mayurbhanj district respectively, while Basu Hemrum belongs to Saptasajya Majhisahi village of Dhenkanal District.

They come from poor families and their parents eek out a living by working in agricultural fields. Similarly, two girls of KISS - Jharana Sundari Nayak (Gonda tribe) and Saraswati Hansada (Santala tribe) - have been selected to participate in the Netball Coaching Camp.

Arpita Mohanty and Monisa Tarasia, women Rugby coaches of KISS and KIIT, will join in Rugby Coaches’ Coaching Camp to be held from 22nd to 29th March, 2009.

This is not the first time that students of KISS have excelled in national level sports. They have proved their talent many times at national and international level sports. Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KISS & KIIT Group of Institutions expressed his satisfaction over this excellent achievement of students and coaches.

Much Awaited Work on Heritage Linking Circuit starts

Much Awaited Work on Heritage Linking Circuit startsWork on the much-awaited Heritage Circuit linking the three World Heritage Sites Red Fort, Humayun Tomb and the Qutub Minar, in the city has started as part of the efforts to showcase Delhi magnificent past during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has started preparing a Detailed Project Report for developing and landscaping of Feroz Shah Kotla area after the Municipal Corporation of Delhi gave its nod.

"The MCD had on March 13 approved the project and we will be their consultants in this regard. This comes in the way of the' Heritage Corridor envisaged in the capital," INTACH Delhi chapter convenor A G K Menon said.

The project is part of the Delhi Government and MCD efforts to showcase the rich heritage of Delhi to foreigners during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The stretch from Darya Ganj in the walled city to ITO, covering Feroze Shah Kotla area and Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg will be developed by the MCD.

"We will now prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for developing the area and handover to the MCD. Then, the work on the stretch will start,”

Menon said the DPR will be submitted to the MCD in two months time.

As part of the project, the entire Feroz Shah Kotla area will be landscaped and lot of infrastructure facilities will come up there.

Source :

Siri Fort sports complex Shuts down for Upgradation, Members Panic

Siri Fort sports complex Shuts down for Upgradation, Members PanicSiri Fort Sports Complex which has been a venue for nearly 8,000 people for everyday recreation and training purposes, are now being forced to stay away with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) deciding to close facilities for renovation ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The members termed this move as “unnecessary” and “frustrating”.

A member of the core committee of Siri Fort Complex stated that despite letters and registered complaints to the DDA, their request for stopping the closure and renovation without considering the interest of members and residents has been totally ignored.

He added that they sent letters to the lieutenant governor and the chief minister and even then they have not listened. Now DDA has begun to destroy the perfectly good pool, tearing down the changing rooms just to make it one foot longer to meet international Olympic standards.

The residents feel strongly that there is no need to shut the complex for two years.

Bharatinder Singh, a doctor who is the over-55 national squash champion and teaches kids at the sports complex said in a very angry mood that they are not against renovation and closure but this could have been done in a phased manner. There is no need for the additional courts or closing the pool in the peak summer time.

The DDA is making 12 new squash courts and revamping the existing six courts within the same premises that have been deemed adequate by the Squash Racquets Federation Of India for training purposes for the games.

Three months back, four of the six courts were renovated - the added feature was “unnecessary” false ceilings.

There are other qualms as well. Like the need to renovate the badminton courts and fit it with a viewing gallery and to construct a covered concrete gymnasium in the middle of the courts.

“They are even going to use granite in open spaces. They refuse to give us details yet they’ll close the facilities for 18 months. Where will everybody go?” asked M.L. Lahoti, a senior Supreme Court lawyer and member of the Siri Fort’s core committee.

Lahoti, who had successfully put a stop to the felling of trees for ‘development’ on 25 acres of the complex earlier this year via a Supreme Court order, is upset that the DDA is not disclosing its intentions to members.

“We know this - they are using the public money to revamp the entire do. We estimate it to be around Rs.400-440 million,” Lahoti said.

So, while the DDA spends hundreds of millions on beautification and remodeling of facilities, the members are clueless about what they’ll do in the two-year period when the complex of which they are paid members remains closed.

“Thousands of kids and adults go to the centre daily to work out. This is not only good for social well being but also for keeping ailments like heart attacks, obesity, diabetes and arthritis at bay,” said Singh, who is also the convener of health and medical services for the 2010 games.

In his complaint to the DDA, Singh has written that the whole exercise of destroying and then rebuilding is a waste of funds as the courts can be upgraded to meet international standards at 20 percent of the cost.

Eventually, the mega revamp project would impact 8,500 people who use various facilities daily at the complex including the likes of national-level tennis, squash and badminton players, including youth tennis star Yuki Bhambhri and his sister Ankita Bhambhri for the crucial two years.

DDA officials, however, claimed that the facilities were being closed for the “yearly upgrade”.
“I don’t know what the complaint is but this is like the yearly upgrade that we do, for which some facilities are being closed,” DDA spokesperson Neem Dhar said.

Members and residents of the complex are strong in their resolve to stop the renovation and have staged candle light vigils and protest marches over the past week.

“There needs to be a public forum and consultation with players. The next step is public interest litigation with the Supreme Court,” Lahoti stressed.

Source :

Monday, March 9, 2009

Longest Elevated Corridor Planned for CWG

Longest Elevated Corridor Planned for CWGThe Delhi government Thursday decided to construct a dedicated flyover, the longest in Delhi, to connect Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main venue of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and the Games Village located 5 km away. Finance Minister Ashok Kumar Walia Thursday gave the go-head to construct a 5-km-long elevated corridor at an investment of nearly Rs.5 billion.

He said the elevated road from Sarai Kale Khan, off Nizamuddin West, to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium would facilitate the movement of 10,000 players from the Games Village to the main venue during the event.

The construction of the elevated road would be completed within 24 months, he said.
He described the project as an “important infrastructure, which would not only prove to be beneficial during Commonwealth Games but would also become a permanent link between east, south and central Delhi”.

“It would serve as a dedicated corridor for movement of players” during the Commonwealth Games, the minister said after a meeting.

After the 2010 Games, the corridor would provide free flow of traffic for commuters, Walia said. It would also help ease traffic congestion on the Ring Road at Ashram, on Mathura Road and other arterial roads.

“Increase in average travel speed will reduce fuel consumption, pollution and loss of man-hours and also reduce the maintenance cost of roads,” the minister explained.

Earlier, a tunnel road was proposed, but the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) did not give it the go-ahead, fearing it would pose a danger to heritage sites like Humayun Tomb in the vicinity of the planned road.

Kicking off the Baton Relay, A Mega Event At India Gate

Sunday evening’s show at India Gate was a stunning combination of flawless choreography, laser lights show and fireworks display
Around 300 artistes, 20,000 spectators and a show that set the mood for 2010 Commonwealth Games, barely a year away. The celebrations put up by the Commonwealth Organizing Committee for the Queen’s Baton Relay as the countdown to Games 2010 was a mesmerising mix of laser lights, tribal dances and the Flying Angels from the UK.

The flawless choreography, which saw a glimpse of sportsbased dance forms from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala and elsewhere as well as videos of the ‘‘spirit’’ of Delhi, had the audience spell-bound as L-G Tejendra Khanna and Suresh Kalmadi unveiled the prototype of the baton on Sunday evening at the India Gate.

Kicking off the relay, which will see the baton travel the entire country as well as all the Commonwealth nations before reaching the Buckingham Palace, from where it will be brought back to India before the Games begin in October 2010, the L-G reiterated the city’s determination to host the Games.

Commenting on apprehensions expressed by various sections about the unpreparedness of the city government to put up the sporting extravaganza, Khanna said, ‘‘I assure everyone the preparations are on schedule and the city is more than capable of hosting the Commonwealth Games.’’

It wasn’t just the build-up to the Games on the establishment’s mind. Khanna also stressed on the security aspects, which he said were top priority. ‘‘Delhi’s always lived with diversity and that unity will be reflected in the Games,’’ said the L-G. Also present at the event were various dignitaries, including ministers from the government as well as from foreign missions.

The visual extravaganza kept the audience spell-bound through the 90-minutes of entertainment put up by the ITDC, which organized the event. Admitted Rajiv Makin, director (commercial & marketing), ITDC, ‘‘The concept was deliberately kept on the themes of sports and culture. This show is the culmination of over six months of hard work.’’ Added Michael Menezes, MD, Showtime Events, one of the partners in the organization of the event, ‘‘It would’ve been easy to put Bollywood into the show, but we wanted something different. That’s how the concept of the sports-based dance forms, mostly martial art forms, was introduced, along with the Toll theater group from UK, which brought in Flying Angels.’’

The audience loved the Angels as well as energetic display by Indian artists. The show was rounded off by a display of fireworks. Said Apara Garewal, a teenager who had come to catch the show, ‘‘It was a lot of fun. Suddenly, I feel I’m part of the Games. I feel so proud of my city.’’ Garewal’s enthusiasm seemed to be shared by the 20,000-strong crowd that turned up to watch the show. The laser show, which kept the India Gate covered in various motifs throughout the event, also drew a huge applause.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rs 80 crore for 2010 Commonwealth Games security

To ensure foolproof security and prevent any Lahore-like attack on sportsmen during the Commonwealth Games, the Centre has sanctioned nearly Rs 80 crore to Delhi Police to upgrade its inventory and equipment.

"A total of Rs 78.26crore has been sanctioned to Delhi Police to procure additional security equipment specifically for Commonwealth Games 2010," a home ministry official said. An Empowered Security Committee headed by Union home secretary and a Commonwealth Games Security Review Committee headed by additional secretary (Centre-state) have been constituted in the home ministry to review the security arrangements for the Games.

2010 Commonwealth Games Badminton Court to be Shifted

2010 Commonwealth GamesShifting a sprawling badminton and squash court, being built for the 2010 Commonwealth games near the Siri Fort indoor stadium here, would be the best solution for saving the greenery in the area, town planner Charles Correa recommended to the Supreme Court Friday.

In his report to a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, the former chairman of Delhi Urban Arts Commission, however, also suggested some alternatives, including amendment in the site plans for the 12.5-acre badminton court, in case it was not possible due to any opposition from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

Correa, who was requested by the apex court Feb 6 to examine whether the badminton and squash court being built near the Siri Fort indoor stadium complex for the Commonwealth games, could be relocated to minimize the damage to the greenery in the area.

The bench has asked Correa to examine the feasibility of relocating the court while examining the objections to the projects, raised by the court-appointed Centrally Empowered Committee.

The court’s panel had objected to the prestigious project worth Rs.1.50 billion (Rs.150 crore) largely on the grounds of large-scale felling of trees and denuding the south Delhi area of its green lungs.

The panel had also objected to the project as it accompanied construction of a 25,000 square meters underground parking lot that, according to police, cannot be allowed to be used during the Games owing to the security concerns of the dignitaries visiting the sports complex on the occasion.

The court has asked Correa if “the building, housing the court, can be relocated - that is, could this work be stopped and started again in far more appropriate location?”

In reply, Correa said in his report: “This would indeed be the best solution. And it could be done if the DDA themselves wanted to do this. But unfortunately the opposite seems to be the case.”

Maintaining that it may be too late now to restart the constriction of a new building all over again at a new location, Correa recommended modification in the building plan.

The badminton court entails an underground parking lot, which was also opposed by senior counsel Harish Salve, assisting the court and representing the panel. During the last hearing he had said that the parking lot eventually looks set to be used for commercial purposes after the Games.

Agreeing with Salve, Correa said the Supreme Court should find ways to prevent the commercial exploitation of the project after the Games.

Salve had also questioned the felling of hundreds of trees to build the badminton court saying the girth of many trees ranges from three feet to 10 feet.

Lamenting the hacking of the trees, Salve had said the forest was so dense in the area barely a few years ago that even during the bright summer noon; the sun would not reach the earth.

Agreeing with Salve, Correa said that though the site plans for the building for badminton and squash court are only for 12.5 acres, the DDA has resorted to felling of trees in 28 acres.

After taking Correa’s report on record, the court adjourned the hearing to March 27.

Commonwealth Games Baton to be Unveiled at India Gate today

Performers from Toll Theatre, London, rehearse at India Gate on Saturday
On Sunday evening, India Gate will come alive with music, fireworks and flying angels creating a symphony in mid-air. The baton for the Commonwealth relay, the Olympics equivalent of the torch relay, will be showcased for the first time in the capital before it is sent to London.

The baton, designed in Bangalore, will be unveiled by LG Tejinder Khanna in a glittering affair that will also display Commonwealth themes on the India Gate in a fascinating laser and light show. A huge stage, flanked by water screens, will be set up in front of the Amar Javan Jyoti and over 200 artists including 15 artists from UK’s famous Toll Theatre, dressed up as angels, will perform in mid-air and hand over the baton to the Game’s committee members. The troupe will be performing for the first time in the country. The baton relay will start from Buckingham Palace in November.

Rajiv Makin, director (commercial and marketing), India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), said: ‘‘The show will be open for all. About 120 private security officials other than Delhi Police personnel have been deployed for the function. Apart from performers and officials, there are about 300 people who are working hard to make the show a success. About 20,000 people are expected to witness the event.’’

People’s Role Sought in 2010 Games Warm-up

NEW IGI TERMINALObservers Find Participation By City Community Missing

Creating worldclass infrastructure in the capital before the Commonwealth Games is just half the job done. People involvement in the Games is equally important, something that is not happening in Delhi yet. Representatives from the industry and government stressed on the need for community participation in organizing the Games at a discussion organized by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in the capital on Saturday.

‘‘There is no excitement in Delhiites about the 2010 Commonwealth Games. It is almost like this is being imposed on them. If the private sector gets involved in the planning process and involves the community, people will automatically get excited,’’ said Kulvinder Singh, DCP (Gurgaon), Haryana Police. He added roles of tour guides, medical assistants and language interpreters can be taken on by volunteers.

Drawing a comparison with Beijing, the stakeholders feel that Delhi is much more vibrant as a city and has a more evolved culture and history.‘‘We are ten times more interesting than Beijing. Now the challenge is in how well we can market this and how much color we can add to the city. For this too, the role of the community and their interaction with the Commonwealth Organizing Committee plays an important role,’’ said VK Verma, Director General, Commonwealth Games secretariat, adding that more than 30,000 volunteers will be mobilised for the games.

For India to shake the negative ‘slumdog’ image, it was felt the the involvement of private sector in development is very important. ‘‘We have more than 6,000 RWAs, universities and colleges in NCR. All these can be mobilized during the Games and the volunteers can provide excellent assistance to the government,’’ said Ravi Bhoothalingam, chief executive, Manas Advisory Pvt Ltd, who was also one of the panelists.

The government welcomed the participation of the community and also enlisted all the projects which are being undertaken to prepare Delhi for the games. As for the infrastructure, chief secretary Rakesh Mehta said that most of the projects will be completed by December 2009. ‘‘By April 2009, the under-construction flyover leading to the Airport will be completed. Another 120 infrastructure projects are constantly being monitored by the government to ensure timely completion. An efficiency rate of 15% per month has been maintained for completion of Commonwealth Games related projects,’’ Mehta said.

In the wake of the Lahore and Mumbai attacks, Mehta stressed that the best security arrangements are being made to ensure the safety of the athletes and their families and a comprehensive security plan is being prepared for the Games by a high level committee formed by the LG.

CWG ads draw EC ire, asks for report

I had posted yesterday about an advertisement about CWG, which are being published in newspapers. You can have a look here:

CWG Projects Lagging Behind, Govt Beating Own Drums

Now Election Commission has send notices to officials regarding the same

Sending out a strong message to officials who violate the model code of conduct, the Election Commission has taken serious note of advertisements on the Commonwealth Games in newspapers and asked Delhi government to recover the cost from the personal accounts of the officials concerned.

"This is a clear violation of the model code of conduct which prohibits publication of the achievements of governments at the cost of the public exchequer," EC said. The commission has asked the cabinet secretary, ministry of youth affairs and sports and the chief secretary of Delhi to give the names of officials who authorized the release of advertisements and the total expenditure incurred on them. It has sought a report by Monday.

"The total cost of the advertisements should be recovered from the personal accounts of the officers and persons responsible for the release of the advertisements," said the commission. The advertisements highlighted the achievements of the central government and the Delhi government regarding the development works carried out in the capital, which included 24 flyovers, 75 aerobridge airport, 1,285 kilometres of better roads and 5,000 low floor buses.

Delhi chief electoral officer Satbir Silas Bedi said they had not got the order till late Saturday night. However, Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta told Times City, "We have got the order and would file our reply. We did not issue the advertisement and hence have no role in this entire issue. We will communicate this to the EC."

Friday, March 6, 2009

CWG Projects Lagging Behind, Govt Beating Own Drums

Today while reading daily news paper i came across a full page advertisement, which i am not sure but might be published by either Commonwealth Games Committee or Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The matter is nearly all the commonwealth games projects are lagging behind schedule, even some projects haven't started yet and the whole government and private machinery is racing against time , Only such advertisements and honey pots can't do anything.

The time is to take actions and Delhi Government as well as the government of India should ensure that we have to project a bright image of our capabilities toward whole world, and 2010 commonwealth games are a right chance to do it.

See yourself what the Government is Promising to Indians. Actually as far as i know elections are going to be held in India and the government wants to encash its each and every acievement

A New Look to Heritage structures in Delhi before CWG

Over 90 little known unprotected monuments in the national capital will sport a new look before the 2010 Commonwealth Games as Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has started conserving and documenting the heritage structures which would be major tourist attractions during the mega sporting event.

Heritage buildings and structures such as Delhi Gate, Mutiny Memorial, Dara Shikoh Library building, Maqbara Park, Bijri Khan's Tomb, Munda Gumbad, Mir Taqi's Tomb, Bara Khamba and The Begam's Bagh are among the 92 monuments which will be conserved and developed by the INTACH .

Delhi government and INTACH had signed a MoU for the purpose.

Most of the 92 identified structures are located on the route of the stadia of the Commonwealth Games.

The nodal agency for conservation of monuments has also started the process of preparing a site plan of monuments showing all topographic features and structures up to a radius of 150 km.

"We have started the process of documenting all the 92 monuments. The documents will have every single detail, including measurements about the heritage structures. The structures will also be photo documented," INTACH Delhi chapter convener AGK Menon said.

Some Commonwealth Games Projects Running Behind Schedule.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit assures that there is no need to worry

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today admitted that some projects of the 2010 Commonwealth Games were running behind schedule but said there was no need to be skeptical or cynical about the preparations.

"There are some projects which are behind schedule, while some are before time and some are on time. I do not want to name them but there is no need to be skeptical or cynical about it," Dikshit said on the sidelines of the launch of the Indian Premier Leagues' Delhi Dare devil member club here.

"There is still one and a half year to go and I am sure we will able to host the event properly," she added.

Dikshit also scotched apprehensions that there was no co-ordination among different committees of the Games.

"Many organization are involved in building the infrastructure in Delhi and it is not only about hosting the Games it is also about managing the event properly in Delhi.

"There is an impression that there is no co-ordination among the DDA, MCD, Delhi government, Sport Ministry and other committees. There are two group of ministers who are looking at the preparation of the Games and there is enough time, so I am confident," she said.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rs 300 Crores Lifeline Package For Emaar

The 2010 commonwealth games may be more than a year away, but time is running out for the government, especially when it comes to the marquee Games village for the athletes.

In a bid to stem delays, the government offers a Rs 300 crore lifeline to the private developer Emaar MGF that has run out of cash for the project.

The company reportedly has been seeking funding for the games village since December. Learnt from sources that the money would be given to the company as a soft loan. Although the exact terms and conditions of the debt agreement between the company and the government were not revealed, the interest rate is likely to be lower than open market rates.

Emaar MGF had first applied for a bailout in December but the request was turned down.

However, last month the parliamentary panel on commonwealth games expressed its displeasure at the delays in project execution, prompting the government to budge. Anshuman Magazine, CMD of South Asia, CBRE, said, “The government's move to offer funding may open the floodgates on similar requests.”

Perhaps Emaar MGF is low of funds because its planned share sale failed last year, with the economy slowing sharply, real estate prices halving from their peak and property sales slowing down.

But, almost all developers in the country are fighting a cash crunch. So, there may have been few takers for the project if the government were to re-tender it.

Meanwhile, for now, the only thing that may rescue the commonwealth games village that has already been drowning under other controversies, including environmental issues, may be a dose of government largesse.

Delhi 2010 Games to go ahead: Australian chief

Australia's Commonwealth Games chief said Wednesday there was no reason to call off the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games in the wake of an attack on Sri Lanka's cricket team in Pakistan.

At least eight people died and seven cricketers were injured when masked gunmen opened fire on the team's buses on the way to Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium Tuesday.

Australian swimming champion Dawn Fraser called for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi to be cancelled to avoid "another Munich" a reference to the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games by Palestinian extremists.

But the country's Commonwealth Games Association chief Perry Crosswhite, who competed at Munich, said the Lahore attack should not prevent the Delhi Games going ahead.

"Like everyone else I am shocked that they attacked a sporting team, and Pakistan cricket is so popular for terrorists to do this is almost unheard of," he told Australian Associated Press. "(But) we are not saying the Games are going to be cancelled.

"At this stage the Games are on at Delhi 2010 and we have no reason to believe that they won't take place."

Crosswhite added that he believed the Commonwealth Games were a low-priority target because most of the countries involved were developing nations.

The Commonwealth Games Federation would hold a teleconference to discuss security issues "very shortly", and Australian officials would visit Delhi in early April, he said.

"We are looking at new steps to put in place to ensure our athletes are protected," Crosswhite said. "I don't think anyone can guarantee anybody's safety any more."

"But what we can say is that we will make an assessment that the potential threats are at an acceptable level (at Delhi)," he added.

He said athletes would be informed, and allowed to make their own decision about attending the games if the threat was deemed to be unacceptable.

Dadwal Assured About Security for Mega Sporting Events

In the wake of terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, Delhi Police on Tuesday said they were "fully prepared" to provide fool-proof security during mega sporting events like 2010 Commonwealth Games and Indian Premier League (IPL).

"We are live and alert to every situation. We are fully prepared to provide fool-proof security for sporting events like Commonwealth Games and IPL. Whatever measures we have to take, we will take," Delhi Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal told reporters here.

About the preparations for 2010 Commonwealth Games, Dadwal said it was being continuously reviewed at the Lt Governor's level. "The Lt Governor (Tejinder Khanna) is aware of the measures taken by us," he said.

Asked who are the leaders on terror radar, Dadwal said in a lighter vein, "I don't give information to terrorists (through the media)."

Six Sri Lankan cricketers and their assistant coach were injured in Lahore on Tuesday while their security guards were among the eight people killed in the first-ever terror strike in the history of the sport.

Firing On Cricketers Alarms Delhi Police, Takes Fresh Look At Security

The attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore has set alarm bells ringing in Delhi, which will host the 2010 Commonwealth Games next year. The Delhi Police is putting in place a new strategy to combat possible attacks on players and venues after a parliamentary committee questioned the capital’s security preparedness for the Games and recommended urgent measures.

With just 545 days to go for the Games, the capital’s security agencies are redevising their plans, with the focus more on terror strikes. Officials said close to Rs 178 crore will be spent on Games security, and the cost may escalate later.

Intelligence agencies intercepting satellite phone conversations between terror modules have warned of possible strikes during the Games. “The modus operandi could be similar to Lahore. The security drills at the Games venues and places where players will be staying have been devised. They include deployment of choppers at strategic locations,” said a member of the Commonwealth Games security team.

Speaking to Times City, commissioner of police Y S Dadwal said, “Security at the Games is a big concern and we are doing our best. We have to think a step ahead of the terrorists as they might come up with a new modus operandi this time.” Delhi Police, apart from installing modern security gadgets, will also enhance its police force with 14,000 more personnel being added to the existing strength of 64,000.

The newly-recruited policemen will be trained by the Delhi Police’s training wing which has been strengthened to handle 7,500 policemen from the earlier 4500.

Delhi Police has been organizing security drills to help minimize damage caused by possible terror strikes.

“We have been performing these security drills at hotels, public places and other important sites which are under the radar. This helps to check the response time and we will continue with such drills,” added Dadwal.

Besides providing choppers equipped with snipers, sources said at sensitive points during the Games, the police may impose Section 144 of CrPC to bar public gatherings. All Games-related areas will be under CCTV camera surveillance.

The routes to be taken by players will be kept secret till the last minute. The information on routes to the Games venue will be available to only authorized persons. A heavy contingent of security personnel will accompany players along the routes which will be sensitized an hour prior to the movement with deployment of plainclothes policemen in highrises and crowded areas, said a senior police officer.

“The Games village will virtually be turned into a fortress with deployment of paramilitary forces and players who are under threat will be accompanied by specially trained commandos,” added the officer.


Delhi Police to have strength of 78,000 by 2010. Currently, Delhi has 64,000 cops, up from 51,000 in 2007 The police may use Section 144 to keep things in control at high-risk places Security expenditure expected to be around Rs 178 crore Routes taken by players will be confidential. Also, routes will be frequently changed and sanitized. Contingency plans will be in place to deal with emergencies, Security staff in choppers to keep an eye at strategic locations, High-rise building and crowded areas will be secured and commandos in plain clothes will be deployed there

CCTVs will be used to keep vigil at Games venues and hotels where players will stay. These CCTVs will be connected to Cyber Highway, a centralized control room, Players will be accompanied by specially-trained commandos,Cops will undergo training before Commonwealth Games.