Thursday, April 16, 2009

HDTV Floods Indian Market in Purview Of 2010 CWG

HDTV Floods Indian Market in Purview Of 2010 CWGNearly five years after High-Definition (HD) televisions flooded the Indian market, viewers are finally set to get a taste of high-definition television viewing . This, as HD-enabled MPEG 4 set-top boxes that enable HD content to play on these televisions, were so far absent in the Indian market.

The Tamilnadu based DTH player, Sun Direct, which claims to be the second largest DTH player in the country with an active subscriber base of 3.1 million, has altered the scenario. By launching Sun Direct HD, the player, which will continue to offer its non-HD DTH services, has become the first service provider in India to offer high-definition viewing television services.

The less than two-year old company, which has so far incurred ‘expected’ cumulative annual losses of Rs. 450 crore and is looking to break-even in the next four to five years, is banking on the niche HD service as one of the offerings that will help in achieving its target of three million additional customers in FY 2009-’10.

Though Tony D’Silva, COO, Sun Direct, admitted at a press conference held in Mumbai that the penetration of DTH is higher and semi-rural and rural areas where cable network faces several hindrances as compared to metros like Mumbai and Delhi, he added that target clients belonged to Segment A and B in metros and big cities.

Justifying the decision to offer HD-enabled MPEG 4 set-top boxes imported from Samsung to the viewers at a cost of Rs 10,000, D’Silva said, “The HD-viewing experience is definitely a niche offering. With LCD sales set to touch the 1.5 million mark this financial year, we are looking at capturing 20 per cent of these LCD owners for our subscriber base. As for the next financial year, the government’s decision to offer a HD broadcast of the 2010 Commonwealth Games should popularise the format to a great extent.

Also, as we have seen in the past, LCD televisions as well as the HD set-top box are bound to see a fall in prices, thus attracting more customers. As for the monthly fees, it is an affordable Rs 100, available as an addition to our basic packs.”

For those new to the term, high-definition viewing typically refers to five times sharper picture quality; a more effective, CD-like sound quality in the form of 5.1 channel Dolby and a 16:9 aspect ratio that allows for wide-angle viewing and thus makes the viewer’s more ‘real’.

However, contrary to the belief of most anticipating it would be adventure and lifestyle channels as well as news channels that would make for initial HD content in India, it will be Tamil and Telugu movie channels, one each, that will serve as the first HD broadcasters in India.

Elaborating on the content plan, D’Silva said, “We are looking at launching the Sun Direct HD in two phases that will be spread out across the ongoing financial year. In the first phase, we will be able to launch four channels without increasing our transponder capacity.

These four channels include two movie channels, one each in Tamil and Telugu, offering HD-compatible films from SUN TV’s library to kick-start operations. In fact, we plan to add four new movies every month to this already well-stocked library.” Not a surprising strategy when 85 per cent of the DTH player’s clientele are viewers in South India.

However, having started its pan-India roll-out in September last year, it has also entered into an agreement with the National Geographic Channel (NGC) for bringing one of its HD channels onto the platform. Though the NGC is in the process of acquiring a license for facilitating HD broadcast for four of its channels – Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Music, Nat Geo Adventure and Nat Geo HD in India, limited transponder capacity will see Sun Direct HD going ahead with just one for its first phase.

A plan to develop a library for Hindi films shot on HD and subsequently initiating an exclusive channel for the same is on the anvil as well. But this is likely to take anywhere between three to six months, admitted V. Narayan, Head-Marketing, Sun Direct.

As for the second phase, for which the provider will have to get permission for increasing transponder capacity, a clear content strategy is yet to be derived upon. Perhaps, news channels like INX news, which have shifted to the HD format and channels like Star TV (which opted for HD for the latest version of Mahabharata), could make for potential choices.

Planning For Employing Israelis Security Agencies for 2010 Commonwealth Games

Planning For Employing Israelis Security Agencies for 2010 Commonwealth GamesUnshackling itself from a security plan confined to government agencies, the Organizing Committee of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi is actively pursuing the idea of involving international private security professionals, even reaching out to the Israelis.

“With over a dozen main venues and many other training venues to guard, that too with multi-layered security, the task of securing the Games would be enormous. While the Home Ministry and Delhi Police are handling overall security, the need to rope in private players has now been acknowledged,” an official of the Organizing Committee told The Indian Express.

The International Security and Defense Systems (ISDS), an Israeli security firm, has already initiated talks with the Government, offering its services for the Games. Set up by former operatives of the Mossad and Israel Defense Forces, the ISDS has been involved in securing the Olympics in Barcelona, Sydney, Athens and Beijing.

“The Games are the face of your society. And the threat is very serious, especially after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. India is surrounded by a lot of enemies and Pakistan and Afghanistan will be in a terrible situation next year,” says Leo Gleser, president of ISDS who delivered a talk today on “Games Security” at a conference on Counter Terror & Security Solutions for India.

He said threats to the Games ranged from aircraft as WMDs to terrorists from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

AFI announces events for GP meets

AFI announces events for GP meetsThe Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Friday announced that it would conduct three prize money Indian Grand Prix meets in the South in May.

The meets would be held in Kochi (May 3), Coimbatore (May 8) and Chennai (May 14).

In order to earn prize money, the athletes would be required to participate in all the three meets. Prize money would be available for the top three places in individual events.

There would be no prize money in relay events.

Interested athletes should route their entries through States/Boards by April 25 to the AFI. National campers preparing for the 2010 Commonwealth Games would compete in the series.

The events:


Men: 100m, 400m, 800m, 3000m, 110m hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put, discus and javelin.

Women: 100m, 400m, 800m, 3000m, 100m hurdles, high jump, triple jump and discus.


Men: 200m, 400m, 1500m, 5000m, 400m hurdles, high jump, triple jump, shot put, discus, javelin and 4x100m.

Women: 200m, 400m, 1500m, 5000m, long jump, discus and 4x100m.


Men: 100m, 400m, 1000m, 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, long jump, shot put, discus, javelin and 4x100m.

Women: 100m, 400m, 1000m, 100m hurdles, high jump, triple jump, discus and 4x100m.

Grand Prix athletic meets in Kochi, Coimbatore and Chennai

Grand Prix athletic meets in Kochi, Coimbatore and ChennaiThe Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has announced that athletes must take part in all three Grand Prix summer events next month to earn prize money awarded to the the top three finishers.

There would, however, be no prize money in relay events.

The three meets will be held down south at Kochi (May 3), Coimbatore (May 8) and Chennai (May 14).

The athletes should route their entries to the AFI through States or sports boards by April 25. Athletes in the national camps, preparing for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, will take part in the meets.

RIL’s Gas Allocation will Boost up Power Situation in 2010 CWG

RIL’s Gas Allocation will Boost up Power Situation in 2010 CWGThe allocation of 18 million standard cubic metres of gas from the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) KG Basin field for the power sector will come as a major boost to the efforts of the Government to enhance power production and would help many power-starved States and plants deal with the crisis more effectively during the summer season.

According to Power Ministry estimates, power plants having 14000 MW generation capacity had been producing only 7000 MW till now as they could not operate at their optimum capacity due to shortage of natural gas fuel. However, the major chunk of allocation of natural gas from the KG Basin will help them step up power generation and it is estimated that around 5000 MW of additional power would be available for distribution especially among Southern States during summer months.

The big beneficiaries would be the power plants in Andhra Pradesh which will be supplied 2.7 million standard cubic metres that include GMR’s Vemagiri, GVK’s Jegurupadu and Lanco’s Kondapalli unit. While other projects in Gujarat such as Essar, Gujarat Puguthan and Gujarat Industries Power will get 2.4 million standard cubic metres.

Official sources said RIL was expected to charge a marketing margin of 13.5-14 cents per mBtu over a base price of $4.2 and may agree to get paid in rupee terms as it did for fertilizer firms.
Not only this, important power projects like the upcoming Bawana power plant and additional power capacity expansion at Pragati Power plant in Delhi would get a boost ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The beleaguered Dabhol power plant in Maharashtra is also likely to benefit from the latest decision of the Empowered Group of Ministers headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Around 4.5 to 5 million standard cubic metres of gas will be supplied to the power plants of National Thermal Power Corporation(NTPC).

FICCI Suggests Easy Visa for 2010 CWG Tourists

FICCI Suggests Easy Visa for 2010 CWG TouristsIn order to reach the target of 10 million foreign tourists by 2010, India needs to focus on a visa strategy, tourists' security and upgradation of infrastructure, industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry(FICCI) has said. In its 13-point agenda, it pointed out that efforts needed to be made to refashion India's image as a safe and secure destination.

Amongst the measures recommended by FICCI are marketing India as a safe destination with tourists being offered adequate security with an active tourist police.

The industry body has underlined the need for visitors to be reassured that India has remained incident free and those areas where any untoward incidents had taken place were "bouncing back" like any other destination in the world.

Need to train personnel and stop untrained con artists, taxi drivers working as tour guides was also a priority. "Tour guides must have proper training, good language and a badge to identify them as approved tour guides," a document released by FICCI said.

Industry has also spoken about targeting short haul distances with economical innovative packages and projecting India as a value for money destination.

Lack of infrastructure like hotels has been the weak link, particularly in the NCR region. India is short by 100,000 rooms while Delhi needs 30,000 rooms ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. There are 90,000 approved rooms in India whereas Beijing alone has 80,000 rooms. Investing in tourism infrastructure by identifying hotel sites, developing guidelines to ease land prices so that more hotel rooms are available in India, especially in the budget category, must be done on priority, FICCI said.

There was also a need to improve civic amenities through the public private partnership model. FICCI recommended that the urban development ministry must identify at least two model cities (tourist centres) as part of a pilot project to boost tourism and development.

It also listed modernisation and upgradation of airport infrastructure and providing 50-60 international gateways as urgent issues.

A long standing demand of the industry has been rationalisation of direct and indirect taxes like road taxes on tourist vehicles, luxury tax on hotels, VAT on food and beverages and sales tax on ATF.

Another recommendation was to develop a visa strategy such as issuing electronic visas, visa free entry for certain target countries and visa on arrival.

2010 Commonwealth Games Tennis Probables sweat it out

2010 Commonwealth Games Tennis Probables sweat it outThe Capital is already veering towards the sultry days of extreme summer, but Monday’s high temperature didn’t seem to affect the bunch gathered at the DLTA Complex. With Jaidip Mukherjea watching from the sidelines and Enrico Piperno shouting instructions, the 2010 Commonwealth Games tennis probables seemed intent on getting things right.

Vivek Shokeen, Divij Sharan, Ashutosh Singh, Navdeep Singh, VM Ranjeet, Vishnu Vardhan, Abhijeet Tiwari and Rohan Gajjar are part of the camp, with Mukherjea, Piperno and Arun Kumar providing the expertise. It will be a hectic next few months for this group with training camps and tournaments lined up one after another.

Prior to this, the players had just returned from a 4-week training stint at Nick Bolletieri’s academy in Florida, and the excellent facilities there proved to be an eye-opener. “It’s a world class tennis centre, and the time spent there has done them an immense amount of good, particularly on improving their fitness. They have a hectic 6-8 months ahead but they’re a good bunch of kids, and no complaints so far,” laughs Piperno.

“The girls are in the Bolletieri academy right now, and we will have a similar camp like this for them once they return next month. By the end of the year, we will probably start weeding out some players, but it’s too early to decide anything right now,” he adds.

Mukherjea wishes they had started the schedule two years ago preparing for the Games. “They were kept busy in Florida, it was either playing or training in the gym, but it helped them a lot as they got to play with quality players. Top ATP players like Tommy Haas, Max Mirnyi, Martin Damm were all there too, and seeing players like that sweating it out motivates you a lot,” says the former Davis Cupper.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

CWG Organizing Commitee Invites EOI for Public Relation Services

Notice Inviting Expression of Interest (EOI) for Public Relation Services for Commonwealth Games 2010

2010 Commonwealth Games, the largest multi sport event to be held in India from 3rd October to 14th October 2010.

Commonwealth Games Organizing committee invites tender(EOI) for Public Relation Services.

The original advertisement as follows ( as appeared in leading English daily times of India, New Delhi Edition)

Commonwealth Games Organizing committee invites tender(EOI) for Public Relation Services.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Delhi Metro Phase II: New Sanctions from Japan worth Rs 7,956 Crores

Delhi Metro Phase II: New Sanctions from Japan worth Rs 7,956 CroresThe Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been sanctioned a loan of Rs 4,061.81 crore from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the developing Phase II of the Delhi Metro.

The loan was sanctioned on March 31 in an agreement signed between the Government of India and the JICA to provide Japanese Official Development Assistance loans for a total of four projects in India.

“The cost of constructing Phase II is around Rs. 20,000 crore, out of which Rs 3,894.25 crore has already been sanctioned to DMRC in three tranches. This is the fourth tranche by Japan towards assisting the DMRC for the timely completion of Phase II,” stated an official statement from the JICA.

Phase II of the Delhi Metro will connect major areas of Delhi, including the NCR. Phase II is crucial from the point of view of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The Metro link will be connecting 10 out of a total of 11 Commonwealth Games sites. Japan is providing loans for the construction of all corridors except the under-construction Airport Express Link, which is a PPP venture.

124 km Delhi Metro’s Phase II 2010 Project deadline

Corridors in Phase II

  • Inderlok-Mundka
  • Yamuna Bank-Anand Vihar ISBT
  • Indraprastha-Noida
  • Central Secretariat-Gurgaon
  • Central Secretariat - Badarpur
  • Airport Express Link
  • Already functional

Two Phase II corridors

  • Shahdara - Dilshad Garden
  • Vishwavidyalaya - Jahangirpuri

Delhi Rivers Paying Heavy Price for 2010 CWG

Delhi Rivers Paying Heavy Price for 2010 CWG

Development for Commonwealth Games Impacts Delhi and Surrounding Area's Major River

Water campaigners are worried that the floodplains of the river running through India's capital city are being converted into shopping malls, residential and commercial establishments, and hotels in advance of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Construction for the 10 day sporting event in Delhi will ruin the ecosystem, they fear.

A 47.3 hectare (118 acre) site for the Games Village has been selected on the banks of the Yamuna River, in the heart of the capital with a capacity for 8,500 athletes and officials. To be built at a cost of US$40 million, the Games Village is being underwritten by the government of India.

Other sites for the Games throughout Delhi are being built and upgraded, but environmentalists say the already polluted river will suffer.

To build public awareness about threats to the Yamuna River, a meeting is being held on May 19 in the Indian capital of New Delhi. The gathering is taking place at the Satyagraha Mandap, Gandhi Darshan, Rajghat, the memorial built to Mahatma Gandhi, considered to be the father of the Indian independence movement.

The event is being organized by Jal Biradari, a movement which describes itself as an Indian "national water brotherhood." Its members include people from all walks of life including farmer groups, social groups, non-governmental organizations, research institutions, social scientists and water experts.

Jal Biradari says it is concerned about "water conservation, forest-soil management, promotion of water conservation work as well as with struggle to re-establish community water rights."

Since 1998 through its awareness programs and water conferences, the Jal Biradari has been aiming to develop a "people-oriented national and state water policy" under the banner of "rejuvenating nature by living with nature."

Delhi residents swim in the garbage-filled Yamuna River.

On May 19, the group will discuss how to revive the river and its ecosystem "in the light of the fact that it's being systematically decimated by the government and private sector."

Water campaigner and journalist Nitya Jacobs said, "Its floodplains are being converted into malls and residential and commercial establishments like hotels in the name of a mere 10 day long sporting event called the Commonwealth Games."

The Yamuna River, sometimes also called the Jamuna or Jumna, is the largest tributary of the Ganges River. It runs for 1,370 kilometers from its source in the Himalayan mountains at Yamunotri, in northern India.

Flowing through the states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the river merges with the Ganges at Allahabad. The cities of Delhi, Mathura and Agra lie on its banks.

The Yamuna is one of the most polluted rivers in the world, especially around the Indian capital. Many unsuccessful attempts have been made to clean it. These were hampered by Delhi's high population density, the illegal dumping of untreated water and solid waste into the river, and inadequate government monitoring together with mismanagement of projects to clean it.

Delhi alone dumps an estimated 3,296 million liters (870 million gallons) of sewage per day into the river. Water in the Yamuna remains stagnant for almost nine months of the year, making the situation worse.

Now the Yamuna's flood plain is being developed for power plants, metro stations, the Akshardham temple and the Commonwealth Games Village.

"This will impact the water security of the city in the long-term and change the character of the river," the Jal Biradari group warned.

The Yamuna, which bisects Delhi, was once its perennial source of drinking water. It enters Delhi at Wazirabad and leaves the city at Okhla, dividing it into eastern and western parts.

Jal Biradari argues that buildings on the flood plain also will aggravate the water scarcity in the city of Delhi. Groundwater levels are falling between one and two meters (three to six feet) every year in many parts of Delhi.

Reducing the flood plain area could make this fall further, the water campaigners say.
They point to the restrictive effect of existing bunds, protective walls that have restricted the flood plain.

Many lakes and ponds in east Delhi that were filled by the flood waters of the Yamuna dried up when they were cut off from the river by these bunds and housing or commercial complexes.

This latest campaign to save the Yamuna will begin by studying causes of pollution of the river and the role it plays in life of the people of the Delhi region.

People have built homes on the Yamuna River floodplain near Delhi.

"It will diversify into raising awareness, based on its understanding, among citizens of how to contribute to reducing pollution in the river," said Jal Biradari.

"The campaign will also propagate rainwater harvesting on rooftops, lawns, parks and roads through people-oriented decentralized water harvesting," the group said.

The organizers hope that by focusing attention on the water problems of India's capital city it will create a ripple effect through the country about the need to improve the condition of rivers, lakes, streams and other water bodies.

India has worked on a Rs 10,000 million (US$246.6 million) Yamuna Action Plan to improve the water quality of the river. Although critics see it has having "achieved very little" to stop pollution in the river, there are now plans for a second Yamuna Action Plan that will cost twice as much.

Jal Biradari says its grassroots campaign will aim for people's involvement to stop the pollution of the river and encroachment on the river's flood plains as the government "has not proved equal to the task."

While criticizing the government, Jal Biradari is also seeking government involvement in decision making for the Yamuna, particularly in managing water resources.

In the long term, Jal Biradari aims to create a national river revival movement and a water education movement to safeguard water and rivers at the ecosystem level.

The campaign to save India's rivers coincides with the 150th anniversary of the First War of Independence in 1857 against colonial British rule. It is "a time when it important to underline our responsibilities as citizens of independent India," said Jal Biradari.

Delhi Yet to Give Green Signal to Olympic Relay

Delhi Yet to Give Green Signal to Olympic RelayThis would perhaps be the last time the Olympic torch relay touched Indian shores. It is ironic that a relay symbolizing peace and hope was drawn into a political battle, as pro-Tibet activists tried their utmost best to disrupt the route of the Beijing Olympic torch all over the world.

“We wanted the torch to go all around but if something wrong is happening to it then why do something negative,” says Indian Olympic Association secretary Randhir Singh.

But then what happens to the queen’s baton relay for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The baton for the Delhi Games was unveiled last month and is scheduled to start its journey to the 71 commonwealth countries in November this year from London.

A section of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) wants the international leg of the relay to be scrapped. Even the Asian games torch relay will be limited to host nations but where do India's sporting ambassadors stand?

“As it is already a lot of worry that the international committee is coming to India. Though I think that these are tough times and logistically it will a tough task but I still feel that the Commonwealth torch relay should actually happen,” Gaurav Natekar, former Davis Cup tennis player said,.

Mountain Biking Slipped to Muddy Biking: Gosselin

Mountain Biking Slipped to Muddy Biking: GosselinWith no mountain biking in the 2010 Commonwealth Games Josh Gosselin has switched from the muddy mountain bike scene to that of the skinnier-tyred road bikes with aims to qualify for Guernsey’s road team heading to Delhi in 2010. And he is making a good fist of it so far.

After a heavy winter’s training and some promising early season form Gosselin headed off to the mainland for a weekend of racing.

Starting in Doncaster Gosselin took part in the NMCF 25-mile time trial. The event consisted of two out and back sections and whilst the weather remained mostly dry, conditions were far from ideal.

With wind speeds of 30mph gusting up to 40, keeping control of the aerodynamic bikes became the first priority.

Still in the early days of his time trialling career Gosselin was tested on a number of occasions as the cross winds picked up.

Fortunately the 25-mile marker arrived without serious incident completing the course in 56min. 49sec., fractionally slower than the previous weekend’s local event.

Audit Began for 2010 CWG by CAG India

Audit Began for 2010 CWG by CAG IndiaAmid fears of attracting international disrepute for delays in execution of projects for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Comptroller and Auditor General has begun a quick audit of the ongoing projects.

"The auditing watchdog has started audit of the projects, the cost of which could go beyond Rs 9,000 crore. We have obtained Games masterplan and other documents and hope to complete the audit by May-June," a source in the know said.

The preliminary inquiry, source said, indicates that there have been inordinate delays in awarding works even as several projects are running behind schedule.

The government has already drawn flak from different quarters for delays in projects relating to the Games scheduled between October 3-14 next year.

Auditors have taken a strong exception to abandoning of projects, extravaganza, poor planning and mismanagement among other issues, sources said, citing examples of how a project to build an underground tunnel from the Games Village to sports facilities was abandoned and then plans were made for elevated roads.

It still remains a million-dollar question as to how such a huge crowd would come out of the residential facilities at the Games Village and reach the venue as there is only one route, sources said, questioning preparedness on infrastructure front.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Badarpur Flyover to Miss Deadline

Project Not To Be Over By 2010 Games As DDA, NHAI Fight Over Land

Delhi’s signal-free link to Faridabad might miss the 2010 Commonwealth Games deadline as the land-owning agency in the Capital, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) bicker over how land for the project is to be handed over and also over the compensation rates.

The NHAI, in fact, is now coming dangerously close to paying a fine to the concessionaire of the project for its failure to hand over about one-third of the land needed by March 22 as per the concession agreement signed between the Authority and Badarpur Faridabad Tollway Ltd (BFTL).

NHAI officials said though the rest of the land has been handed over, what remains is more crucial since the interchange for Mehrauli will come up on this portion. ‘‘If we don’t hand over the land in the next one week, we will not only pay a hefty fine but also miss the Games deadline,’’ said a senior NHAI official who wished to remain anonymous.

The elevated corridor, to be built on a BOT basis, will be a crucial link between Delhi and Faridabad and also play a key role in easing the traffic flow to Agra during the Games. Since heavy tourist movement to Taj Mahal in Agra is being anticipated during the Games, both Delhi Tourism and UP government are planning to ply special luxury buses on this stretch.

The 4.4-km, signal-free highway project, which includes a 3 km long six-lane elevated highway, was originally scheduled to be completed by December 2010 but was expected to be expedited to catch the Games rush in October. ‘‘Considering the importance of the link, it was added to the list of Games related projects for early completion by September/October,’’ said the NHAI official.

Sources said the dispute that was jeopardizing timely completion of the project was raised at the monitoring committee meeting chaired by the Delhi chief secretary on Wednesday.

NHAI had issued a notification for acquiring the land under Section 3A of the NH Act in 2007 but DDA says under its rules and norms, it can only lease out the land as it has done in the case of Delhi Metro for its Badarpur extension.

Moreover, NHAI wants to pay the compensation as per the 2007 rate while DDA is insisting on 2009 rates, said a senior DDA official. It has offered to give advance possession of the land provided the NHAI agrees to give an undertaking to pay the revised compensation which is yet to be finalized.

‘‘It’s a legal handicap for the NHAI and the DDA is not agreeing to the NHAI condition, causing a deadlock,’’ said the NHAI official.

The project has already been delayed several times. Though the Haryana government gave the clearance in 2006, Delhi government and Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) cleared it only in January last year.

The proposed road will start near NTPC, Badarpur, and end near Sector-37 crossing in Faridabad. It will do away with all the seven junctions on this stretch.

The Project In Figures

  • Length of signal free toll road: 4.4 km
  • Cost of project: Rs 340 cr
  • Vehicles taking the road: Approx 1 lakh passenger car units (PCUs)
  • Traffic that can pay toll: Approx 68,000
  • Project Deadline: Oct 2010
  • Concession Period: 20 years

Cause of Delay

Approx 1/3 of land yet to be handed over to developer. Deadline for hand-over of land was March 22, ’09

Commonwealth Games Security Stepped Up

Commonwealth Games Security Stepped UpThe organizers of 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi have moved to calm fears over security after investing US dollars 15million to enhance security in the wake of the attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team in Pakistan last week.

The Union Government of India has sanctioned the investment amid mounting concerns following last week's incident in Lahore, which heightened fears following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November.

"The money has been sanctioned for the Delhi Police to procure additional security equipment like X-ray scanners, metal detectors and communication equipment, specifically for the Commonwealth Games 2010," a home ministry official said.

Last week Indian Olympic Association chief Suresh Kalmadi said security was the top concern of the organising committee, an assurance which Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna echoed.

"I assure you that the Commonwealth Games will be peaceful and secure," he said. "Visitors have no need to be apprehensive about their safety."

Meanwhile, secretary general for the 2010 Games, Lalit Bhanot, said that the venues would be ready well in advance of the Games, despite construction work being behind schedule. "We are moving in the right speed," he said.

"Three or four stadiums will be delivered by September-October this year, while the rest will be ready by February next year."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Security For Commonwealth Games Top Priority

The organisers of 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi have moved to calm fears over security after investing US dollars 15million to enhance security in the wake of the attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team in Pakistan last week.

The Union Government of India has sanctioned the investment amid mounting concerns following last week's incident in Lahore, which heightened fears following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November.

"The money has been sanctioned for the Delhi Police to procure additional security equipment like X-ray scanners, metal detectors and communication equipment, specifically for the Commonwealth Games 2010," a home ministry official said.

Last week Indian Olympic Association chief Suresh Kalmadi said security was the top concern of the organising committee, an assurance which Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna echoed.

"I assure you that the Commonwealth Games will be peaceful and secure," he said. "Visitors have no need to be apprehensive about their safety."

Meanwhile, secretary general for the 2010 Games, Lalit Bhanot, said that the venues would be ready well in advance of the Games, despite construction work being behind schedule.

"We are moving in the right speed," he said.

"Three or four stadiums will be delivered by September-October this year, while the rest will be ready by February next year."

No Questioning in 2010 CWG security: Crosswhite

No Questioning in 2010 CWG security: CrosswhiteAustralian Commonwealth Games Association has denied threatening to withdraw its athletes from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi over security concerns and also apologised for the erroneous reporting by the media Down Under.

"Regarding the recent media reports about Australia's participation in the 2010 Games, I asked Mike Hooper to let you know that the media reports were inaccurate," ACGA chief executive Perry Crosswhite wrote in an e-mail to Indian Olympic Association general secretary Randhir Singh.

"I did not say that Australia would not take part and I am very concerned that this has been reported in this way," he said.

The IOA general secretary had reacted to Crosswhite's comments, saying "Terrorism is a global threat and should be treated as such. Who could ever imagine a 9/11 or that a tragic event during the Munich Olympics could ever occur".

He had also promised "highest-level security" for the 2010 event. Crosswhite had reportedly said a security assessment one month before the 2010 Games would play a crucial role in the Commonwealth Games Federation deciding whether to go ahead with the event in India after the Lahore terror strike on Sri Lankan cricketers earlier this month.

"We are still 18 months out. I'd say a year out will be a crucial point in time and then six months, three months and one month. At the end of the day it's our decision (if Australia sends a team) and we have to make that call with the best information we have at the time," Crosswhite was quoted as saying by the Courier Mail earlier this month.

Crosswhite, in his communique to Randhir, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, apologised for causing concern among the organisers of Delhi CWG.

"I know that this has caused some concerns among my friends at the IOA and I apologise for the Australian press reports," he said.

The ACGA CEO also assured the IOA of his support for the Games. "As you know, I have always supported the 2010 Games and yourself in what the IOA want to achieve for India and for sport in India. In closing be assured that I will not do anything to hurt the Games," he said.

Australia had topped the medals tally in the 2006 Games with 84 golds and plans to send 550 athletes to New Delhi, which would make it the largest contingent.


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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hotels for 2010 CWG: DIAL Shows Some Hope

Hotels for 2010 CWG: DIAL Shows Some HopeFive domestic and global hospitality companies have been selected to build deluxe and five-star hotels around the international airport here, with the target of completing the projects before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), the airport developer, has awarded the contracts to Accor, InterGlobe Hotels, Lemon Tree, Bird Group and Hyatt, the company’s major stakeholder GMR said in a regulatory statement Monday.

These developers would also offer facilities like convention centres, restaurants and commercial plazas within the hotel premises to meet the requirements of passengers and airlines.

DIAL had received 60 bids for the hospitality project.

As per an agreement with the government, DIAL will use 5 percent of 5,000 acres of airport land for commercial purposes. It has so far released 65 acres, out of 250 acres of allocated land for the hotels, which will have a built-up area of 45 acres.

A government report titled “Development of Tourism Infrastructure and Amenities for 2010 Commonwealth Games” says DIAL would develop 500 rooms in the 45-acre project.

A parliamentary committee report recently said DIAL is expected to be ready with only a sixth of the 3,000 rooms targeted in Delhi’s international airport by next year.

As per projections, Delhi will be short of at least 15,000 rooms for the 2010 Games.

Committing Uninterrupted Power for 2010 CWG Games: BHEL

Committing Uninterrupted Power for 2010 CWG Games: BHELBharat Heavy Electricals Limited’s project at Jhajjhar, Haryana, is a large 1,500 MW site (three units of 500 MW each).

It belongs to the Aravali Power Co., 51% owned by the National Thermal Power Corporation. (NTPC), 25% by the Haryana government. This project has been fast-tracked since it is expected to start supplying electricity in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Against planned execution of 21% of the project, BHEL has executed 13% due to delays in other parts of the project. Despite this, however, the company is confident of completing its part on time.

While the project has been placed on a fast track some challenges remain due to possible delay on others’ part. The areas of concern are obtaining canal water, the ash handling plant and a railway feeder line for coal supplies.

Judging by the site area, it can easily accommodate 2x500 MW units, which was also confirmed during our visit. When this happens, orders for boilers and steam turbines would most likely be placed with BHEL.