Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sayali Gokhale - bright spot for India

Sayali GokhaleSayali Gokhale was uncertain of her future a year ago, being left out of the group of elite players preparing for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. But the Air India employee made people take note with the national title in February. She added another feather in her cap on Sunday by clinching the Spanish International Challenge title, defeating Lianne Tan of Belgium 21-9, 21-18 in the final.

The day wasn't fruitful for the other Indians as P. Kashyap lost the men's singles final, while Aparna Balan, pairing with Shruti Kurien in women's doubles and Arun Vishnu in mixed doubles, faltered at the last hurdle.

Sayali's title was another example of India's second rung carving a niche for itself on the international circuit.

"This is my third international tournament this year. I won't say that the competition level was very high, but I had to overcome the handicap of inexperience," Sayali told HT over phone.

The Prakash Padukone Academy trainee did not lose a single game in the tournament and attributed it to her improved level of fitness. "Last year, I wasn't in any of the India teams, and with no domestic tournaments, I worked on my fitness." Sayali will now play in the Tolouse Open in France and has been given a wild card for the World Championship to be held in Hyderabad this year.

Friday, May 22, 2009

CWG Federation satisfied with infrastructure in Delhi – Really

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Suresh Kalmadi has said that the executive board of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) expressed satisfaction with the games infrastructure coming up in the city.

"As you are all aware the CGF was here for the whole of last week. We went through a lot of preparations for them and we have satisfied them and we took them around to show the entire infrastructure and they liked the games village the best. They said they have not seen a games village like this anywhere," said Kalmadi.

He also said that there were minor delays in construction of two venues but promised to have all infrastructures ready six months ahead of the event.

Preparations are in full swing in New Delhi for hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games at an estimated cost of 70 billion rupees.

Delhi had bagged the contract after beating the Canadian city Hamilton in the bid for the games.

The Games will be staged in India for the first time and in Asia for the second time. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, held the Commonwealth Games in 1998.

New Delhi hosted the inaugural Asian Games in 1951 and again in 1982.

To Deal With Emergency during CWG, Doctors Get Lessons

2010 Commonwealth Games are coming near; doctors in New Delhi are being specially trained for contingencies such as bio-terrorism and nuclear attack.

Dr. M C Mishra, head at the AIIIMS Trauma Centre, said, "Doctors are being trained to deal with casualties in the event of chemical, biological, radiology or nuclear (CBRN) terrorist attack during the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Doctors, both civilian and military, are being trained."

AIIMS Trauma Centre has been developed as a main centre for a three-day workshop on emergency medical response to any chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear (CBRN) casualties during the forthcoming Commonwealth Games 2010.

On different preparations in the run up to the event, Mr. N Balachandran, Special Secretary (Health), Delhi government, stated that 3 hospitals in the capital were being specially equipped with the newest equipment.

Mr. Balachandran added that the hospitals were being spruced up to address mass casualties, if any.

"September-October 2010 will witness a lot of movement of foreigners in the Capital. AIIMS, Ram Manohar Lohia and G B Pant Hospitals are being readied for the Games," he said. "In case of bomb blasts, people rescue victims. But if it is a biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear attack, one should keep away from the victims."

Dr. W Selvamurty, a scientist with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), stated that together with the doctors, it's also important for people to know how to tackle such crisis and casualties.

Completing Commonwealth Games project – Not a Piece of Cake

Just a week after the Commonwealth Games Federation returned "satisfied" after a review of the preparations for the sports extravaganza 17 months away, optimism in Delhi government is at an all-time high.

Yet in terms of concrete figures the picture does not look all that rosy with some projects still being very far from completion at less than 10% work done. There are also reports of how an important Games project is stalled because of a face-off caused by the insistence of a senior person in Delhi administration to change the plan.

Moreover, there are other issues like procurement of turf which has now forced PWD to ‘‘re-adjust’’ completion dates for Thyagaraj Stadium as the department was told during the recently concluded review that the turf at all venues practice or competition would have to be identical, to ensure which it is preferable that the turf is procured centrally. The construction that was nearly 70% done had to therefore be slowed down.

Getting permissions from all agencies often took much longer than the department had bargained for. In case of the Velodrome Bypass a standoff with DUAC meant that only a special clearance from the LG would get the project moving.

The usual irritants like absconding contractors four laning of the Ring Road over Barapullah Nullah near Sarai Kale Khan was stalled for a while after the contractor fled have also been a problem. DDA officials, however, said that though there were some hurdles all their projects will be completed on time. There were, however, some pleasant surprises during the review too. Work on the Barapullah Nullah Road which began just a few months ago is over 30% done.

‘‘All our projects are on schedule. Some like Chhatrasal Stadium, Salimgarh Fort-Velodrome Road and the Ludlow Castle training venue started only recently but the pace of work since then has been very good. We are very confident of meeting all our deadlines and have already made necessary course corrections,’’ said PWD secretary K K Sharma.

One such course correction was in case of the Naraina flyover which has already received a lot of flak because of the missed deadlines. Sharma says that constructing a flyover without stopping the very busy intersection was a challenge which the PWD finally negotiated by deciding to construct it one side at a time. During the recent review, the committee had asked the department to speed up the Barapullah Nullah Road constructions further so that it is completed by March 2010. Accordingly, special equipment for cantilever construction is being used there, revealed an official.

‘‘In case of stadia there were many issues that were not clear. There were generic guidelines given but we had to keep waiting for the specific instructions to be issued. For example, even something like the number of CCTV cameras at a particular venue had to be cleared from the organising committee,’’ Sharma said.

Checking The Status

Status of Commonwealth Games projects (figures in brackets indicate expected completion date)

Chhatrasal Stadium | 10% (DECEMBER 2009)

Thyagaraj Stadium | 68% (SEPT-OCT 2008)

Training venue at Ludlow Castle | 5% (DECEMBER 2009)

Barapullah Nullah Road | 30% (MARCH 2010)

Salimgarh Fort Velodrome Road | 6-7% (JULY 2010)

Nelson Mandela Marg flyover | 70% (AUG-SEPT 2009)

Aruna Asaf Ali Road flyover | 80% (AUG-SEPTEMBER 2009)

Rao Tula Ram Marg flyover | 9% (MAY 2010) Naraina flyover | 60% (MARCH 2010)

ITO Chungi clover leaf | 65% (AUG 2009) Ghazipur flyover | 33% (MAY 2010)

Neela Hauz Bridge | 24% (MARCH 2010)

UP Link Road | 7% (MAY 2010)

Upgrading of streetlights in south Delhi and trans-Yamuna areas expected to be done in 3-4 months. Work on those in north and west Delhi has not started

DDA Projects

Yamuna Sports Complex | 40% (December 2009)

Siri Fort Sports Complex | 35% (December 2009)

Games Village | 44% (April 2010)

DDA Wants to Increase Work Force at CWG Village to meet Deadlines

Delhi Development Authority has asked Emaar MGF to increase the number of workers at the Commonwealth Games Village site to 10,000 for the project to meet the December 2009 deadline the company has been given. After that period, DDA is supposed to do them up and the flats will be ready only by April 2010.

The project at present has only about 1,800 workers and work is visibly on at only a few of the towers something that Emaar officials explain by saying that ‘‘groups’’ move from one tower to the next after their work in finished in the first. In the beginning there used to be 8,000 workers at the site. Then the recession hit the economy and there were allegations by the company, Ahluwalia Constructions, about not receiving payment and myriad other problems and the number of workers started dwindling. DDA has now received instructions to ‘‘push’’ the company.

The Games Village ran into a spate of trouble, including a stand-off with Akshardham Temple early on and more recently, a fund crunch that forced DDA to buy out some expensive flats at the site to pump in the much required funds. The Games are exactly 500 days away and Emaar claims work on the village is 44% complete.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday IOA president Suresh Kalmadi, on a guided tour of the site, proclaimed satisfaction at the pace of work and said all CWG projects are on schedule. ‘‘Everything will be done by March 2010 and only the rugby stadium and the velodrome will be a little delayed,’’ Kalmadi said.

There was an interesting catch in the Emaar claim of 44% completion though. The flat Kalmadi visited was a striking contrast to the flat immediately above it and thousands of others at the site. While the showpiece had flooring and walls done, a storey higher there were brick walls just beginning to be cemented, freshly made concrete floors covered with water and iron rods sticking out of what is just the first signs of a balcony. In fact, Emaar-MGF staff, while preventing Times City from going upstairs, said it is a ‘‘safety precaution’’ because ‘‘something may break and hurt people’’.

Speaking off the record, Emaar officials said the flat Kalmadi visited is 90% complete and the tower will be the first off the block. ‘‘The total project completion status is 44%. This visit was to give an idea of the real thing. We are confident that we will finish the project on time,’’ said an official, refusing to reveal the status of individual towers. The confidence levels may be high but the company, DDA and IOA still have a long way to go.

Kalmadi said the biggest challenge at hand is to ensure security for the 70-member nations who will come for the Commonwealth General Assembly in October. He also claimed that the sale of television rights has emerged as a money-spinner far beyond expectations with $50 million to be possibly made out of it.

At present, the project has only 1800 workers and DDA wants this number to be increased up to 10,000 to meet Games deadline

Minor Delays in CWG Projects, will Completed on Time

The chief organizer of New Delhi's 2010 Commonwealth Games told that there were minor delays in construction of two venues but promised to have all infrastructure ready six months ahead of the event.

Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the Commonwealth games Organizing Committee, said brisk construction work had made up for the slow start in erecting infrastructure for the biggest sporting competition to be staged in India since the 1982 Asian Games.

"It took us a while to procure mandatory approval for some infrastructure projects. That led to a delayed start, but we have now managed to catch up and most venues will be ready a year ahead of the Commonwealth Games," Kalmadi told reporters.

The Commonwealth Games, a multi-sports event bringing together athletes from 71 nations and territories that formerly comprised the British Empire, are scheduled for Oct. 3-14.

"Most of the infrastructure will be ready in November this year. But there's some catching up to do at the rugby and cycling venues," said Kalmadi. "These two will need another three months and we're expecting these to be handed over to the Organizing Committee by March next year."

Kalmadi said the Commonwealth Games Federation's (CGF) executive board expressed satisfaction with the progress during its recent visit to New Delhi a week ago.

"The CGF executive inspected the venues and expressed satisfaction with the way the infrastructure was coming up, they were also briefed about various organizational aspects," Kalmadi said during his inspection visit to the under-construction athletes village.

"We need to maintain the momentum, and the organizing committee will keep monitoring the execution of infrastructure contracts.

New Delhi was chosen to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games after several failed bids, becoming only the second Asian city to be allocated the event. Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur was the host in 1998.

Amadeus-Yatra.com tie-up resulting in Access to 900 Indian hotels

Amadeus, a global leader in technology and distribution solutions for the travel and tourism industry, has inked a pact with one of India’s largest online travel companies, Yatra.com, to provide 100,000 travel agents access to 900 one to three-star hotels on its global distribution system (GDS).

‘We offer customers a choice of booking channels, including online and traditional retail methods. This milestone agreement will help our hotel partners to sell their rooms globally through another channel - the GDS - with its unparalleled reach,’ Yatra.com co-founder and CEO Dhruv Shringi said.

‘We have chosen Amadeus as our long-term technology partner because of their cutting-edge technology and commitment to constant innovation. This new deal will strengthen our collaboration and help drive our global expansion,’ he added.

According to David Brett, president, Amadeus Asia Pacific, the demand for mid-range and independent hotels is growing as travelers look for more budget-friendly options in today’s economic climate.

‘This partnership with Yatra.com is, therefore, very timely to meet that need,’ he added. Since 2008, Brett said, a growing number of independent hotels and smaller chains had joined Amadeus’ GDS.

‘This demonstrates this channel’s appeal to hoteliers that are not traditionally represented by a GDS, as they recognize the value of our global reach,’ Brett maintained.

Yatra.com has partnered with Amadeus since 2007. It currently uses the Amadeus API, a comprehensive toolkit that allows travel agencies to customize their own applications to access the full range of domestic and international airline content in Amadeus’ GDS.

Yatra.com also uses Amadeus Master Pricer, the industry’s leading international low fare search tool, to enable their customers to find the cheapest fares online.

Ankur Bhatia, managing director, Amadeus India, said: ‘India generates the highest number of online travel bookings in Asia Pacific as many local travelers like to look for the best deals via the Internet.

‘However, travelers who prefer to book via a travel agent are also looking for more choice in hotel options. This agreement with Yatra.com will deliver more choice for travelers, and help Yatra.com and its hotel partners reach out to new markets, which in turn will increase revenues for the Indian travel industry,’ Bhatia pointed out.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Commonwealth Games venues to be made attractive

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila DikshitDelhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Thursday said the 2010 Commonwealth Games’ venues, village and their surroundings would be developed in such a way to make them attractive and aesthetic.

“It would be done with an aim to bring the city at the level of international metropolitan cities and prepare Delhi for the Commonwealth Games with the help of such development that holds legacy value even after the games,” Dikshit said in a statement.

The Delhi chief minister added that facilities for pedestrians would be increased and traffic circulation would also be improved, during a presentation made by the Public Works Department (PWD) on street-scaping projects around Commonwealth Games venue sites and some important sections of the Ring Road.

Delhi government’s Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta, senior officials of Delhi government and officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), Delhi Jal Board (DJB), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Police and other departments were also present during the presentation. A concept related to street-scaping projects, which would be coordinated by the PWD, was approved in the meeting.

“It was also stated that the roads would be upgraded as per the International Road Congress (IRC) guidelines and other international standards pertaining to road and traffic management,” the statement said, adding the concept includes upgradation of ambience and facilities around stadiums such as Thyagraj Stadium, Nehru Stadium, Siri Fort Sports Complex, R.K. Khanna Lawn Tennis Stadium, Yamuna Sports Complex and important sections of the Ring Road.

Dikshit also stressed upon the need of uniform signages and maximum possible green cover.

She instructed the officials to implement the concept properly as the facilities to be developed would become a permanent feature in Delhi.

Friday, May 15, 2009

CGF Meets on Games Preparation

CGF Meets on Games PreparationThe three-day meeting of the Coordination Committee of the 2010 Commonwealth Games got underway with the top brass of the Commonwealth Games Foundation (CGF), including chief Mike Fennel and chairman of the Organizing Committee Suresh Kalmadi present.

The CGF personnel questioned the stakeholders seeking clarification on certain issues even as they made city operation plans for the Games which, among others, included infrastructure, communication, power, water-supply, waste management and city beautification. All athletes and officials coming from abroad will get top priority, including speedy immigration clearance and accreditation at the airport itself.

Security presentation was made by Delhi Police officials and they assured foolproof security for the Games . Chief secretary of the Delhi government gave an overview of the efforts in all areas being made by it and how $13.3 billion earmarked for the Games will be spent.

A presentation was made on medical arrangements which will have three dedicated hospitals—AIIMS, GB Pant and LNJP. The Games Village will have a polyclinic and each stadium will have a medical facility. The Coordination Committee members will meet over the next two days before the executive committee takes stock of the situation on Thursday.

NCR Hotels dressing up for 2010 CWG

The national capital of India is going to host one of the most prestigious games in the world , Commonwealth Games in 2010 . New Delhi is expecting a large number of tourists from all over the world in addition to the domestic traffic.

A large number of rooms (obviously hotels) are needed to accommodate these visitors. Government as well as private players are doing their part for fulfilling the demand.

Just have a look at some of the renowned hotels in the National Capital Region..

The Hotels are:

City Park, Crowne Plaza, Crowne Plaza Gurgaon, Fortune Select Gurgaon, Galaxy Gurgaon, Grand, Hyatt Regency, Le Meridien, Leela Gurgaon, Mosaic Noida, Oberoi, Park Plaza Gurgaon, Park Premier Gurgaon, Ramada Plaza, Shangrila, Sheraton, Siddharth, Taj Mahal, Taj Palace, The Lalit, The Metropolitan, Vasant Continental

Ramada Plaza, Mosaic Noida, The Lalit, The Metropolitan, City Park, Crowne Plaza
Vasant Continental, Siddharth, Maurya Sheraton, Hyatt Regency, Grand, Shangrila
Maurya, Oberoi, Taj Palace, Taj Mahal, Le Meridien
Leela Gurgaon, Galaxy Gurgaon, Fortune Select, Gurgaon, Crowne Plaza Gurgaon, Park Premier, Gurgaon, Park Plaza Gurgaon

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cyber Highway for the Capital nodded Home Ministry

Home Minister, P. ChidambaramAs part of its efforts to ensure foolproof security during 2010 Commonwealth Games next year, the Union Home Ministry has approved a special project for setting up of a state-of-the-art dedicated communication network for Delhi Police.

The network — Cyber Highway — will facilitate implementation of convergent services of application, call interception and monitoring system.

The facilities will allow all police stations of the Delhi Police to come under one network leading to easy access of crime and criminal data at the click of a mouse, Home Ministry sources said.

The project also includes video surveillance system, CCTV monitoring, video conferencing and interlinking of all police information.

A dedicated traffic monitoring system will also be part of the Cyber Highway project which will lead to installation of sophisticated cameras in all vital points to help smooth traffic management.

The Home Ministry has also decided to create a Special Task Force (STF) for the overall security of the games village and sports venues, considering the vulnerability of the National Capital Region.

"The STF would be created from the existing resources of Delhi Police for overall security and traffic management," an official said.

There would be proper coordination between the STF, venue security and Delhi Police for intelligence sharing, reinforcement of human and material sources.

The STF also might have to deal with sudden contingency situations requiring assistance of other civic agencies, central police forces or crisis management centers.

Considering the security scenario of the national capital and the forthcoming Games, the sources pointed out that crowded places of Delhi were the prime targets for terrorist activities.

In the backdrop of the terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, the Home Ministry last month reviewed the security arrangements for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and favored monitoring the Games village even during construction.

The authorities are mulling tighter security arrangements by ensuring intensified vigil at vantage spots especially the accommodations of players and spectators, sources said.

Senior officials are of the view that terrorists could do some mischief, a fear expressed by a Parliamentary Committee, which found serious lapses in preparations for the mega sporting event.

if you're lost in Delhi Locate a loo to find your way

if you're lost in Delhi Locate a loo to find your wayIf you are planning head to the capital for the 2010 Commonwealth Games but fear that you might end up getting lost in its busy streets, just head to the nearest public convenience. The Delhi government plans to install computers at all the loos which will provide tourists information regarding the venues and game schedules to help lost tourists find their way.

Apart from the public conveniences, the Delhi government also plans to install water points, where tourists can quench their thirst while exploring the city. Computers will also be installed at these water points. Here, tourists would also be able to access information about the numerous tourist spots in and around Delhi.

"We are still at a planning stage and discussions are on. It is not going to easy, but we expect to start work in the next six months," a senior Delhi government official said.

Besides this, the Delhi government also plans to convert Connaught Place into a wifi zone.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Commonwealth Games Delegation Arrives in New Delhi

A Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) security delegation arrived here on Monday to inspect all the facilities and the stadiums before the games to be held in 2010.

A meeting took place at the Delhi Secretariat where Delhi gave its presentation to the delegation members.

Suresh Kalmadi, President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was also present. He later said that the Commonwealth Games work is not getting delayed at all.

“A delegation of Commonwealth Games has arrived in Delhi, which was here six months back also. They are inspecting all the facilities here and are having discussions with all the stakeholders. Today was the presentation by the Delhi Government. Tomorrow and day after tomorrow, they will see the presentation of the stadiums. Till now, all the presentation work regarding the Commonwealth has proceeded on time,” said Kalmadi.

Preparations for Commonwealth Games are on here for hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games at an estimated cost of 70 billion rupees.

Delhi had bagged the contract after beating the Canadian city Hamilton in the bid for the games.

The Games will be staged in India for the first time and in Asia for the second time. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, held the Commonwealth Games in 1998. With a population of more than 1.2 billion, India is the largest country in the Commonwealth.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games will be India’s first big International sports event since the 1982 Asian Games. New Delhi hosted the inaugural Asian Games in 1951 and again in 1982.

Guides to get training, licences in time for 2010

While the state government plans to train cab drivers to double up as guides to meet the high demand during the Commonwealth Games, the Central government has all these years refused to train and issue licences to qualified guides who have cleared an entrance examination — thereby contributing to this shortage.

This stand of the government, that has led to lack of expert guides in the run up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games has now been rejected by Delhi High Court. Acting on a petition filed by such qualified guides who have not been granted licenses, justice Ravindra S Bhat recently cleared the decks for their training, asking the department of tourism to induct the selected candidates and impart training, followed by licences.

HC disagreed with the government’s decision to abdicate its duty of selection and training of qualified guides. The central government had cited a Rajasthan HC ruling saying recruitment was job of the state government but justice Bhat differed, holding "government is bound to proceed and forward names of those candidates who qualified according to the criteria spelt out" under the examination scheme. Challenging the government’s recruitment process for intake of guides, a tourist guides organization had, through its lawyer Anjana Gosain, moved HC against the tourism department and ASI, alleging gross mismanagement in the recruitment process.

Complaining that they were being denied licenses and barred from working at a time when there was a demand for guides, the petitioners said an examination process initiated in 2007 for guides has suddenly been scrapped even though it was set in motion under HC orders. Moreover, even those who were selected under the half-baked scheme have not begun getting training yet, leaving them in the lurch because they can’t work till they finish training under official auspices.

"More than 3000 applicants appeared for the examination and only 300 have been selected for training who have then been left in the lurch. There cannot be any limit on the number of guides as tourism has grown by leaps and bounds. The scheme is not for recruitment but for self employment hence restriction on number ought to be lifted especially because government doesn’t have to spend any money on these candidates who have to generate work after clearing the examination," Gosain had earlier argued before HC.

40% Commonwealth Games projects to be Completed by August

Coordination Committee ‘Impressed’ With The Pace Of Work

During its ongoing review of Commonwealth Games related projects, the Delhi government on Monday told the Games coordination committee that 40% of all the projects - stadia, Games village, roads etc will be completed by August. Moreover, the government will spend approximately Rs 250 crore for the beautification of about 70 to 80 km of roads leading to nine venues.

The committee, according to chief secretary Rakesh Mehta, was ‘‘mightily impressed’’ by the pace of work. The Games are exactly 16 months away.

There are two more meetings scheduled for the next two days and the final picture of the status of Games projects will emerge only after that. Officiating PWD engineer-inchief A K Sinha said at Thyagaraj Stadium, 68% work had been completed. ‘‘Approximately 40%work on the elevated corridors (flyovers) have been completed,’’ he claimed.

However, the Games coordination committee is believed to have expressed its concern about communication, security and also coordination of transport to the Games venue. ‘‘It has asked Delhi government to involve Delhi Transport Corporation as they have experience in running of buses,’’ Mehta said.

In the meeting, a presentation was also made on beautification of roads. According to Public Works Department officials present, four consultants have already been appointed and Delhi government would spend nearly Rs 3 crore per km for this. Sources said approximately 8-9 km would be beautified at each venue.

Among the suggestions for beautification made at the presentation were changes in street furniture, reserving space for public art, plantations, kiosks, landscaping, street-scaping, toilets, walking plazas and also geometric improvement of roads which would add to their aesthetic value apart from easing traffic.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Travel Tips For Tourists Coming to Delhi For the 2010 CWG

Travel Tips For Tourists Coming to Delhi For the 2010 Common Wealth Games

Commonwealth Games 2010 experience is a once in a life time opportunity. Be sure to make the most of it and consider the following tips as you plan your Commonwealth Games 2010 experience.

Get Your Visa Ready : It is advisable to get your visa ready in advance

Give yourself Time : We recommend you to arrive at the venue two or three days before so as to have the proper insight of the city. Get yourself acquainted with the transportation system in Delhi. Learn more which are the other place you can actually visit in and around the city.

Money Exchange facility in Delhi : You will find numerous money exchange outlets in the city. It is advisable to look out the outlets that are run by the government. The exchange rates may differ from one outlet to the other, so its is advisable to go for bargaining. The facility for money exchange is also offered by several renowned hotels in Delhi. However, you may find lot of such outlets near the airports and railway stations.

Ticket Booking for Commonwealth Games 2010 : You are advised to get the ticket booking done in advance for the upcoming commonwealth games. You can either purchase your tickets online Or you can book them at Ticket master retail outlet

Tourists Attractions in Delhi :

Commonwealth Games 2010 gives you the opportunity to explore the historical attractions of Delhi including the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Qutb Minar, Humayun's Tomb, Lotus Temple, India Gate, Purana Qila (Old Fort), Delhi, Chandni Chowk, Delhi, Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhawan (President's House), Birla Mandir (Laxmi Narayan Temple), Akshardham Temple etc.

Tour to Taj Mahal : 2010 is the year of surprises for the tourists coming on the tour to India. On one hand they have opportunity to be a part of the popular Commonwealth Games and on the other hand they have the opportunity to explore Taj Mahal one of the 'Seven Wonders of the World'.

Transport Facility : Most of the people in Delhi use the local transport to commute from one place to another. The city has got the nice public transport ranging from buses, taxis, RTVs or Rural Transport Vehicles, Auto Rickshaws, Metro Train and Local Trains.

How to Reach Delhi for the Upcoming Commonwealth Games

Games Village of Commonwealth Games

we all are anxiously waiting for the upcoming 2010 Commonwealth Games that are going to be held in the capital city of India – Delhi, from 3rd October 2010 to 14th October 2010. Here is the information on how to reach the Games Village of the Commonwealth Games.

By Air: Its easy to reach Delhi by air. Delhi has got an International airport known as 'Indira Gandhi International Airport', conducting regular domestic and International flight service. Air India, Kingfisher, British Airways, Gulf Air, Singapore Airlines, Jet Airways, Deccan, IndiGo, SpeceJet are some of the airlines operating tours from Delhi and other cities of the world.

By Railways : Delhi is well connected to all the other major cities of the country through a good railway network. There are three main railway stations in the country : -

  • New Delhi Railway Station
  • Old Delhi Railway Station
  • Hazarat Nizamuddin Railway Station
Several trains such as Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Super fast are running between Delhi and other cities of India.

By Road : Delhi is equally well connected to all the major destinations of north India through the excellent road network. You may find regular bus service from Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) like Sarai Kale Khan and Anand Vihar Bus Terminals. If you want to travel in Delhi itself, there is a good service of DTC buses.

Local Transport : Local transport in the city includes – Delhi Metro, Auto's, Cycle Rickshaw's, Buses, RTV'S, Private buses and taxis.

Alas! Work Started at Siri Fort Sports Complex

Alas! Work Started at Siri Fort Sports ComplexFor The Sake of India’s Prestige in the World Community SC Okays complex at Siri Fort

The Supreme Court on Monday removed all hurdles for the construction of the basketball and squash facilities at Siri Fort area in South Delhi for the 2010 Commonwealth Games saying it did not want India to be viewed by the world community as unfit for the prestigious sporting event.

Keeping open for adjudication in future the alleged environmental transgression by the DDA, which cut down as many as 891 trees to clear the area for the construction of the sports facilities, the SC said if any more trees were to be cut, it has to be done in consultation with the central empowered committee (CEC).

What appeared to weigh additionally with the special forest bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and justices Arijit Pasayat and S H Kapadia were the recent shifting of IPL T20 tournament from India to South Africa followed by Australian pullout from Davis Cup in Chennai.

‘‘We do not want people to say India is unsafe for Commonwealth Games. We will deal with the environmental concerns after the Games are over,’’ the bench said much to the relief of additional solicitor general Amarendra Saran, who appeared for DDA. Amicus curiae ADN Rao and counsel M L Lahoty pointed out to SC that both the CEC report and an independent assessment of the facilities by town planner Charles Correa had termed the cutting down of a large number of fullgrown trees as mindless and that DDA could have selected an alternative site.

2010 Commonwealth Games Map

2010 Commonwealth Games Map

2010 Commonwealth Games Map

No doctors for athletes training for 2010 Commonwealth Games

No doctors for athletes training for 2010 Commonwealth GamesGuess how many doctors are available for 250 elite athletes training for the 2010 Commonwealth Games at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala? None. The last physician, Dr Ashok Ahuja, retired on Thursday and at Rs 25,000 that the Sports Authority of India (SAI) is reportedly offering, chances of a replacement being found quickly appear slim.

Despite repeated efforts, NIS executive director LS Ranawat couldn’t be reached. He didn't return HT's calls and didn't reply to text messages.

Olympic bronze medallist boxer Vijender Singh and Asian Games silver medallist wrestler Geetika Jakhar are among the campers. Apart from camps for elite boxers, wrestlers, weightlifters, athletes and gymnasts, the NIS also has a large batch of young cadets at the Centre of Excellence and students pursuing diploma courses.

Lack of qualified medical personnel forces athletes to seek treatment outside, putting them at serious risk of being given medicines banned by the World Anti Doping Agency. That’s not all. Lack of medicine supplies often mean that they may have the prescription but not the panacea.

Three weeks ago, a boxer in the Games’ core group of athletes suffering from acute stomach pain was shifted to a hospital outside the NIS because medicines weren’t available in the campus. It was the same with Ram Singh, another India pugilist. “The SAI keeps saying they are spending crores on our training but they don’t even have proper medical facilities,” said an international boxer.

“Earlier, medicines at the health centre was a problem and now there will be no doctor. In combat sports, chances of injuries are greater and full-time medical support is needed,” said a coach. “Now, players will have to go out to get treated. That’s dangerous because other doctors have no idea about the banned drugs.”

Sources at SAI said replacements were interviewed earlier in the week but none fit the bill. “At Rs 25,000 which is what the SAI will pay, you can’t even get a normal physician, forget getting a sports medicine doctor,” a source said.

Interestingly, there are only two physiotherapists here, both hardpressed for time from their teaching responsibilities.

Top Women Weight Lifters dropped from 2010 CWG elite list

Shailaja, Renubala to be dropped from 2010 CWG elite listShailaja, Renubala to be dropped from 2010 CWG elite list

Four top women lifters of the country, including Shailaja Pujari, will be dropped from the core group for the 2010 Commonwealth Games preparations after they failed to report for the national camp in time, Indian Weightlifting Federation said on Sunday.

Pujari, Renubala Chanu, S Yamini and Shristi Singh were among 60 elite lifters selected for 2010 Commonwealth Games training which started in February but the quartet did not turn up for the camp at Patiala despite given an extended time to join.

IWF President Harbhajan Singh said that the four lifters would not be allowed to join the camp as the extended dateline for doing so has expired on April 10.

"First they did not join the camp in February and they did not furnish us the reasons in writing. Secondly, they failed to report by April 10, the last date for joining the camp. We are going to drop them," Harbhajan said from Lucknow.

Pujari won three gold in 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games in 75 kg while Renu Bala won the yellow metal in the 2006 Melbourne Games in 58 kg. Yamini won a bronze in 58 kg in the National Championships in Pune early this year while Shristi Singh earned a silver in 69 kg in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune last year.

Their hopes of taking part in 2010 Commonwealth Games are as good as over with Harbhajan saying that any lifter outside the elite list would not be considered unless he or she came up with some extraordinary performance in national championships later this year.

"We are not going to add anybody to the elite list unless he or she performs extraordinarily well, such as breaking some records -- national or Commonwealth or Asian -- in the National Championships.

"If we have to add any lifter we would not know his or her status of dope testing whereas those in the national camp will be constantly monitored from the very beginning. That is why we are not likely to add any lifter later on," Harbhajan explained.

While announcing the elite list for training camp, the IWF had said that the number of lifters would be pruned down from 60 to 45 by the end of December and to 30 by June next year.

India is expected to compete in each of the 15 categories (eight men and seven women) in weightlifting in 2010 Commonwealth Games and the IWF would select a lifter out of the two who will remain after June 2010.

Namibia National Olympic Committee Announced Tough Standards for 2010 CWG

Namibia National Olympic Committee Announced Tough Standards for 2010 CWGThe Namibia National Olympic Committee announced strict new qualifying criteria for Namibian athletes who want to qualify for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India. At a press conference in Windhoek, NNOC president Agnes Tjongarero said they had decided to raise the standards to improve Namibia’s competitiveness at the highest level.

“If you look at the countries that won gold medals at the last All Africa Games, most of them could not even win bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games, which means that we will have to try harder. If we as a country cannot even make it at the All Africa Games, why do we even bother to go to the Olympic Games? That is why we have adjusted the criteria, if you cannot reach these levels, and then just try harder for next time,” she said.

According to the criteria Namibian athletes will have to be ranked amongst the top two in Africa in all the codes. Besides that, the qualifying criteria for certain individual codes like athletics and swimming have been set at a high level.

Swimmers, for instance, will have to reach 850 FINA points per event, while they will have to qualify twice at internationally recognized events. The 850-standard is much higher than even the qualifying standard for the 2009 World Championships of 650 points. A record eight Namibian swimmers qualified for this year’s World Championships which will take place in Rome in August, but national swimming coach Ryan Skinner said he doubted whether anyone would qualify according to the new criteria.

“It’s a huge increase and there’s definitely a concern that that will be too exclusive with the time frame involved. We’ve only got 18 months to prepare and that sort of improvement in standard may lead to nobody being able to make the standard. I think it’s a good idea that the FINA points are lifted over time to gradually improve the standards and to let everyone be aware that more is expected of them, but that sort of improvement in standard might end up leading to despondency amongst our swimmers,” he said.

Tjongarero stuck to her guns, saying the standards would remain.

“It would be regrettable if none of the swimmers qualified, but we have to try and reach it. What’s the use if we come last – we don’t want to embarrass anyone? Let’s try and get there, and if not, it’s not the end of the world. There will be more events coming up like the 2011 All Africa Games in Mozambique,” she said.

Meanwhile, athletics in Namibia faces a quandary since Namibian athletes will not be able to qualify for events since the world governing body, the IAAF, does not approve anyone in charge of Namibian athletics.

Since Athletics Namibia’s aborted presidential elections in November last year, athletics has been run by an Interim Committee, but the IAAF said that it didn’t recognize the Interim Committee. It said it would send a delegate to Namibia to sort out the impasse, who was supposed to arrive in April. According to Tjongarero the delegate will now only arrive in May.

“We received a letter from the IAAF saying that they did not recognize anyone running athletics here in Namibia. Our athletes can only qualify by competing at IAAF-recognized events, but someone who is recognized by the IAAF has to enter our athletes. We asked them if the Interim Committee can enter our athletes, but it seems that their delegate will now only arrive in May and in the meantime our athletes are suffering because they cannot compete,” she said.

At the same event Tjongarero handed over a sponsorship of N$10 000 to the Namibian Bowling Association so that it can compete in an international competition, the Atlantic Rim Tournament in South Africa in May. Namibia will compete against some of the top bowling nations from the Atlantic rim like England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the United States, Brazil and Canada at the event.