Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Special Arrangement for Delicacies at Games Village

The menu for over 10,000 players and delegates at the Village will be chosen from across continents

Talk about mega meal plans. During Commonwealth Games 2010, the main dining hall in the Games Village will dish out a whopping 36,000 meals a day to feed a family of 10,000 players, officials and coordinators for a fortnight. The menu will be drawn from across every continent and put through rigorous checks to ensure none of the guests suffer any adverse consequences.

To take care of the meal arrangements during the Games, the catering division of the Commonwealth Games organizing committee is now busy working out the logistics.

Around 30 bigwigs from the hospitality sector have responded to the expression of interest floated by the organizing committee for the catering requirements of the Games. Senior officials said they expected to finalize and award the job by the end of this year or January, 2010.

All venues will be divided into food clusters as every discipline will have its own unique food requirements for participants.

While the menu will be drawn from the cuisines of all continents, each Games venue will offer specific "athlete venue meals" based on the nutritional requirement of the athlete. For instance, the nutrition requirement of a table tennis player will be different from that of a boxer. Hence there will be different meals for each.

According to Sharayu Almelkar of the organizing committee's catering division, the menu will be put through a safety checklist based on guidelines which are still being prepared. All the food that will be served will carry the name of the item, details of all ingredients and nutritional value to prevent ill health, allergies and upset stomachs. "For athletes, the right food is critical. Thus the focus will be to get the specifications right," Almelkar said.

With so much emphasis on food, can beverage be far behind? At the Games venues, hydration will be the key. The Games Village will have numerous water vending machines. Juices, energy drinks and soft drinks of every variety will be available in ample quantity in the main dining hall, casual dining outlets and carts which will be placed at convenient points.

To add that extra excitement into the regimented diet plan of athletes, a "surprise and delight" component has been planned. During the main meals in the Games Village, there will be special surprises for players. A birthday cake or a special food corner to showcase the making of Indian delicacies like jalebis(very famous Indian Sweet) would be part of the package.

MCD to Install Bomb Proof Bins for 2010 CWG

Each bin will cost the corporation Rs 50,000

Believe it or not, if there ever is another bomb blast in Delhi, the safest installations will be, hold your breath, the MCD dustbins. After all, the civic agency proposes to install bomb-proof dustbins in the city in time for Commonwealth Games 2010. And each of these super bins will cost a cool Rs 50,000.

Said Mayor Dr Kanwar Sain: ‘‘since it is our responsibility to install dustbins, we do not want to leave anything to chance, especially with the Commonwealth Games round the corner. Dustbins are usually a neglected lot. Last year, bombs were planted in the bins, leading to widespread damage.’’ Each of the mega-expensive dustbins will be of 1,000-litre capacity. Added Sain: ‘‘A UK-based company has made a presentation before us and we will study the proposal by testing the dustbins and start with a pilot project.’’

The MCD claims that it wants to install these bomb-proof dustbins around sensitive buildings like stadiums, the Games Village and multi-level parking lots.

Elaborating on the benefits of the unique trash cans, Sain said: ‘‘This Company is certified by the UK government and similar dustbins are being used there. The company has also installed 50 such dustbins in Assam under a pilot project initiated there. These dustbins will be made of bullet-proof material and will not be damaged during bomb blasts.’’

The MCD had earlier proposed installing dustbin-cum-flower pots to deal with problems of littering and aesthetics. While describing the same, the MCD had said the bins would look like flower vases. What it meant was that flower pots would be placed on top of dustbins which would be open from the front to throw garbage in.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Discovering Delhi in 15 voyages

The Need

It is expected that the visiting sporting fraternity, country representatives, officials and visitors, who will be staying in the city for at least a fortnight will definitely look for leisure and tourist options other than the games


Taking into consideration this fact, a full fledged Experience Delhi programme will be launched for the benefit of visitors that will showcase not only the cultural heritage of Delhi, but also India’s rich history


Certain areas of the city have been identified as ‘Active Zones’ to launch this programme. The following factors have been taken into account: Location Historical significance Movement area Open spaces


Every cultural zone will meet certain requirements of heterogeneity to make them attractive for all kinds of tourists
Performing arts Food courts Flea Market Exhibition spaces Art installations

Red Fort-Fatehpuri

Chandni Chowk Fatehpuri Masjid Central Baptist Church Sisganj Gurdwara Havelis Food joints Jewellery shops Town Hall Jama Masjid Gauri Shankar Mandir

Hauz Khas

Historical and heritage monuments Deer Park Rose Garden Designer boutiques Art galleries Lord Jagannath Temple NIFT, IIT .Authorities plan to set up a temporary street at Lodhi Road

JLN Stadium-Lodhi Gardens

Monuments Lodhi Colony Lodhi Gardens India Habitat Centre Safdarjung Tomb World Wildlife Fund

North Campus

A large number of young people Games venue for rugby & aquatics in DU grounds Old Secretariat: The first British building of the city Qudsya Bagh: Built by Quadsya Begum in 1748 Yamuna ghats Wide roads Metro connectivity


Culture Curry To Woo Tourists

To highlight the capital’s rich culture during Commonwealth Games, the government proposes to divide Delhi into 15 cultural zones. They will showcase heritage, greens, games venues and tourist spots. Over a lakh visitors are expected for the 2010 event

Imagine Delhi’s very own Fashion Street, on an avenue leading from Lodhi Colony to India Habitat Centre. Or a heritage walk through the monuments of Mehrauli and Hauz Khas. Flea markets that will be a tourist’s delight and the best of Indian art, not in the galleries, but out on the streets for all to admire. If all goes according to plan, Delhi government will create 15 active cultural zones in the capital to bring alive the variety the city has to offer during the fortnight that will mark the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Anywhere between 80,000 and 1, 00,000 visitors are expected to descend on the capital during the Games slated for October next year. Adding to the crowd will be around 10,000 players, coordinators and officers who will make the capital their home between October 3 and October 15, 2010.

To bring alive the culture of the capital, Delhi government is now busy exploring ways of presenting the city to the visitors. It proposes to divide Delhi into active cultural zones. Each zone will be profiled in a unique manner highlighting heritage, greens, games venues and tourist spots.

The 15 cultural zones across the city will include North Campus, the stretch from Chandni Chowk to Red Fort and Fatehpuri Masjid, Connaught Place, Lodhi Garden to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Hauz Khas, Siri Fort, Mehrauli, Shanti Path, the area between Delhi Secretariat and Old Yamuna Bridge, Ridge Road, Delhi Cantonment and Punjabi Bagh. A zone around Akshardham and India Gate is also proposed.

The location of the Games venues, places of historical importance, locations of tourist interest, availability of ample open space for setting up installations, proximity to existing and upcoming Metro stations and area of maximum movement envisaged during the Games are some of factors being taken into consideration while drawing up the cultural zones.

The common uniting factors that will make each zone culturally appealing would include performing arts shows, food courts, flea markets, exhibitions and art installations. The cultural zones will be presented in the form of active street life.

For instance, Delhi Secretariat to Yamuna Bridge is being considered as one contiguous cultural zone. The various components which make it eligible for the profile include the presence of the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Yamuna Velodrome, Ambedkar Stadium, Gandhi Darshan, the ghats, a portion of the Red Fort and the old bridge in the vicinity.

The green avenues between Lodhi Garden and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is being projected as another zone showcasing the Safdarjung Tomb, Lodhi Gardens, the urban architectural delights that are India Habitat Centre and India International Centre and the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium which will host the opening and closing ceremonies.

A temporary Fashion Street may be a part of the cultural theme. An interesting zone being considered that may put West Delhi on the cultural map for the first time is likely to stretch from Shivaji Place to Punjabi Bagh Club. Moving beyond the posh south and heritage loaded Central Delhi; this zone is being seen as an attempt to project the variety in the capital. This zone includes important malls and cineplexes, the Chattrapati Shivaji Park and Shivaji Place.

Cultural Melting Pot

Delhi enjoys a very active cultural life which mirrors the rich and varied cultural heritage of India. It is not difficult to find performing arts troupes representing every nook and corner of India. This rich heritage of Delhi will be actively promoted during the Games

Participating Countries: 79
Expected no. of officials, players 8,000-10,000
Expected no. of visitors: 80,000-100,000


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Preparation for Queen's Baton Relay

2010 Commonwealth Games Organizing committee invites tender for manufacturing and supply of uniforms for Queen's baton relay..

Important Dates:

Last date for submission of queries: 28 August 2009, 5:00 PM

Last date for submission of bids: 31 August 2009, 3:00 PM

Opening of technical bids: 31 August 2009, at 4:00 PM

Contact Details:

DDG Procurement
Contact: + 91-11-24500443

See below for actual advertisement:

Preparation for Queen's Baton Relay

Friday, August 21, 2009

MS Gill Assures that CWG work will be over on time

MS Gill Sports MinisterA leading English Daily interviews Minister MS Gill

Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) assessment report on the preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, published in TOI on Thursday, has raised genuine deadline fears and also put a question mark over the financial management of the Games by the organizing committee (OC).

Sports minister MS Gill, who has been actively involved with CWG work since April, 2008 spoke exclusively to TOI on progress of work and the road ahead. Excerpts:..

The CAG report says that 13 of 19 stadiums face the risk of missing the deadline. This could cause huge embarrassment to the country...

As you know, I took charge as sports minister last year in April. There were a lot of delays, work had not started on several projects and various things needed to be tied up. But let’s not talk of the past... the fights, the blame game. The decision to hold the Games was taken by the NDA government and was duly endorsed by the UPA government. We are going to ensure that work is completed on time. That’s what I’m fighting for.

But won’t the delays give a bad image to the country?

I can promise you that we will be ready. An important step taken last year was getting the co-ordination committee of the Games in place. There are too many agencies, too many projects, too many different voices. Thankfully, we are on the same track now and working at full speed. I have been having regular meetings with Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit and OC’s chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

In fact, Sheila and I are holding hands and marching forward. We are two sides of the same coin. And I can tell you, Sheila is working harder than me; she’s the face of the Games.

The SPM Aquatic Centre has been listed as a high-risk project due to delays...

I have got the latest report and it will be ready in time. No project will be further delayed. But yes, there’s plenty to finish, a lot of hard work ahead.

The design for several projects has not yet been frozen. How do you expect the work to begin and get completed in time?

The CAG report is of June, 2009. We completed all formalities in July.

What about outsourcing of work for HDTV production, international broadcasting centre etc.?

We have had meetings with the information and broadcasting ministry. Two parties have already been identified and it will be tied up soon. Anyways, the electrical cable work will begin only after the civil work is over.

The OC has reportedly asked for more money for stadium work. Is it justified?

It has been studied by a finance committee headed by a special secretary from the finance ministry. It will then be approved by the Cabinet. OC will not be short of money but every penny will be accounted for. They have to justify it as it is public money.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has asked for 5 per cent share in the revenue expected from sponsorship. CAG has questioned it. Your take.

If CAG has raised an objection, we must consider it.

Don’t you think that some federations have put the ministry in a fix by planning mega events months ahead of the Games. Doesn’t it put pressure on you?

It does. If we have to stage the Commonwealth shooting competition in February, 2010 or World Cup hockey in March, 2010 it eats into building time. The federations were surely aware that work had started late on all projects. In fact, some work also got delayed due to unlimited demands by federations on technical specifications.

Are you happy with the fact that unlike the 1982 Asian Games, the conduct of the Games will be in the hands of OC — in effect, the IOA?

Well, that’s the structure that was put in place 5 years ago. They have a lot of responsibilities. My call is that we ensure that the work of all sub-committees of OC is scrutinized. We are in constant dialogue with them.

Do you see the CWG making money?

Our job is to finish the work on time. How money can be made from infrastructure is in the future. As we say in India, it’s like ‘ladki ki shaadi’. Our job is not over till the bride leaves for her in-laws home.

Haryana’s Big plans for Games, Planning to Launch hot air ballooning

In a bid to promote adventure tourism and earn revenue from it during 2010 Commonwealth Games, Haryana government is planning to introduce facilities for hot air ballooning at Damdama, Suraj Kund and Badkhal lakes on public-private partnership (PPP) basis.

State tourism ministry has already floated tenders in this regard. According to local adventure tourism operators, as of now there is no permanent venue for hot air ballooning in the NCR and this move will boost tourism in the region.

‘‘Anticipating a huge rush of tourists and visitors during the Commonwealth Games, we have set the target of starting these facilities by then. The three locations have excellent connectivity with Delhi.

Though the locations will be finalized mutually, we feel these three spots have huge potential,’’ said tourism secretary Keshri Anand Arora.

Sources in the department said that there are two licensed players who have experience in commercial hot ballooning. The expression of interest (EoI) document states that the project will be based on sharing of resources and technical competence between the department and private players.

Meanwhile, State tourism department has also prepared a plan to set up temporary huts for tourists at the three sites in Faridabad during Commonwealth Games.

CPWD Gives Up says can’t finish 6 Games projects in time

CAG says the first 3 projects were critical to Games and would impact traffic management during the event

1 Shastri Park tunnel corridor connecting east Delhi to north and northeast
2 Elevated east-west corridor from east Delhi to CP
3 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg flyover linking IG stadium
4 Masoodpur corridor upgrade & Mahipalpur tunnel
5 SP Mukherjee Marg corridor for easing Old Delhi rly station traffic
6 Signal-free right turn at JB Tito Marg-Siri Fort Road

13 OUT OF 19

sports venues evaluated at high risk of failing deadline as work shortfall is between 25% and 50%

9 OUT OF 16

major ongoing city infrastructure projects at high risk of failing deadline with work shortfall of 55% to 97%. All 16 running late

Government didn’t follow 7-year global norm

The lack of concern on part of the government and organizers in meeting deadlines reflect in the way planning has been done. While the organizing committee submitted its budget for the Games in November 2005, this was approved by the Centre only in April 2007 a full one-and-a-half year later.

The organization plan was finalized in August 2007, project and risk management experts appointed in March 2008 and the Games masterplan finalized in November 2008 for seeking the approval of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Among the infrastructure projects shelved due to horrible delays, CAG says the east-west corridor, BSZ Marg flyover and the Shastri Park tunnel were critical for the Games on account of their location and that the decision to delink them would have adverse traffic management implications.

There was hardly any method in the way the Games were approached by the planners, says CAG. The organizers were supposed to follow the seven-year project cycle as practiced internationally — two years for planning and approvals, four years for execution, construction and development, and the last year for test events and trial runs.

After the event was awarded to New Delhi in 2003, the government instead adopted a four-phase approach. In the first phase, the entire plan for the Games was to be laid out. Two years were allocated for this purpose (January 2004 to May 2006). The second phase was for creation of infrastructure, between May 2006 and May 2008. The delivery of the completed projects was to be made between May 2008 to December 2010.

CAG observed that there was no evidence of the four phase approach being translated into action from 2004 to 2006 (phase one), nor during a major part of phase two. In fact, in its response to CAG observations, the organizing committee said that till the appointment of technical and HR consultants in 2006, it had little or no experience in organizing an event of this magnitude.

CAG Reports, Key Games Projects Badly Delayed

In what could bring huge embarrassment to the country, key Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2010 projects including games venues, infrastructure for conducting the sports and major city upgrade plans are running so much behind schedule that there’s a real threat of India’s showpiece Games turning into a non-event.

The Comptroller and Auditor General, which early this month submitted an evaluation report to the Prime Minister’s Office and the sports ministry, has observed that in at least 13 of the 19 sporting venues, the work shortfall is between 25% and 50%. This means all these projects would either miss the deadline or compromise on quality in the haste to finish on time.

That’s not all. Sources quoting the report said the Delhi government and some central agencies executing Games-related projects have officially shelved at least six infrastructure projects by delinking them from the Commonwealth Games.

Though the delinked projects are flyovers and bridges that could at best clog up traffic and hamper timely conduct of events, what could actually result in the Games being shifted elsewhere is the organizers’ inability to complete sports venues even in the extended timeframe. As per international guidelines, all CWG projects were to be completed by May 2009 and the last year should have been kept for trial runs.

Far from that, sources quoting the CAG report said in the case of Jawaharlal Nehru stadium the main venue of the Games even the final designs were yet to be frozen. Authorities executing the projects hadn’t received layout details for LAN, CCTV, broadcasting overlays, video screens, scoreboards and signages etc.

The evaluation report says these details, as well as the type of track and turf to be used, were required to be submitted in October 2008. Instead, these have been received by CPWD only recently. The location and the requirements for the photo finish room at JLN Stadium were finalized by the organizing committee as late as May 2009.

Meanwhile, the all-too-familiar finger-pointing is on. CPWD, the project executing agency, has blamed the organizing committee and its consultants for delaying the projects by constantly revising and re-revising designs for every venue, sources said.

Chief of federations to assess Delhi Games stadia in October

In a run-up to the Commonwealth Games, a six-day general assembly meeting of all the heads of Commonwealth Federations of participating countries will be held in October.

“The participants would also be visiting different venues and ongoing construction sites of stadia.

We have finalized preparations for the first phase of the look of the Games during October-December, 2009 when all the Heads of Commonwealth Federations of participating countries would be in the city,” an official release said.

A meeting was held in this regard which was chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. As approved in the first phase, strategic bus shelters would be developed, neon sites would be displayed and 100 bridge panels would be installed, the release added.

Venue Maintenance Key Task after CWG

Arjun awardee Kamlesh MehtaArjuna Awardee and eight-time table tennis national champion, Kamlesh Mehta has said that maintaining the world-class facilities after Commonwealth Games will be a big task once the event gets over.

Mehta added that India’s poor record in maintaining sporting facilities in the past was a concern.

“Making good facilities is not a problem in India. Many stadiums built for different tournaments at different time have some great facilities. But the major problem is proper maintenance of this infrastructure,” he said.

“We have not been successful in maintaining them once the events are over. That is going to be a bigger challenge. The governments and federation, all have roles to play in this,” he added.

Yamuna Sports Complex, which will host the table tennis competition during the CWG, is one of the venues being readied for the showpiece event from October 3-14 in the national

‘Foreign trips good for players’

Mehta lauded the government and the national federation for giving the players enough international exposure in the run up to the Delhi Games.

“Indian table tennis is now looking quite healthy and the players are also getting a lot of exposure and training abroad. This is good and will help the players improve before the Commonwealth Games. It will not be an easy competition for them,” Mehta said.

“These trips are being organized with an eye on the Commonwealth Games, but they should continue even after the Games if we want our players to do well at the Olympics.

Delay Assessment of CWG 2010, New Delhi Venues

Delay Assessment  of CWG 2010, New Delhi Venues
Delay Assessment  of CWG 2010, New Delhi Venues

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Delhi Going Green for Games: Sheila Dikshit

Emphasizing that the Commonwealth Games in 2010 is being celebrated as a green event, chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday told the Organizing Committee (OC) that the color should be showcased prominently across the city during the sporting extravaganza.

Her reaction came after the Image and Look team of the OC presented before her the color combination, green, pink and purple, that it plans to use during the Games.

However, Sheila suggested that there should be less of purple and pink and more of green.

After the Look team, led by Additional Director General Sangeeta Welinkar, made a presentation on how it wants to adorn the city, the CM told the members to keep the beautification campaign a well-guarded secret till the sporting event. She told them not to share the ‘beauty tips’ right now with anyone.

So, the first phase of the ‘Look’ will be presented before the representatives of all 71 participating countries during the general assembly in October this year. The CM asserted that the next phase of making the ‘Look’ public should not commence before April next year. She also expressed concern that the Games mascot, ‘Shera’, should not be over-exposed too early.

To the idea of painting the green and red buses with the Games logo, the CM said that she was averse to it as this was an unnecessary expenditure for a 15-day event. However, she welcomed the idea of pasting removable stickers on all modes of public transport.

The Image & Look team is busy mixing shades and textures to evoke the dynamism of Delhi to ready her for the final show next year. From colorful schemes for bus-Q shelters, Metro stations, pillars, low-floor buses and autorickshaws to designer wrap-ups for covering old and faded buildings, ‘The Look’ aims to paint the Capital in Games shades.

Forms and textures have been carved out from the capital’s rich architectural heritage, including the Mughal period structures. For instance, there are plans to replicate lattice screen (jali) from Red Fort in signages, kiosks and building wraps across the city.

Bloodlines (Bluelines) to stay on Delhi Roads

delhi blueline or bloodline killer buses
The efforts of Delhi government to phase out the Bluelines (often called ad bloodlines) has got a serious kickback as now it is concentrating more on adequate supply of buses before commonwealth games

Delhi’s dream of getting rid of "killer" Bluelines has been put on the backburner. The state government has put the corporatization plan "on hold for now" to ensure that about 3,100 buses ordered by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) arrive before the Commonwealth Games 2010.

Sources said the process of appointing an operator for the first cluster has been put on hold, but the scheme will take off again after a sizeable part of buses ordered by DTC arrives.

The two bus manufacturers in the country, Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland are utilizing their entire capacity to deliver DTC’s order for about 3,125 low-floor buses and another 1,100 semi-low-floor buses in time for the Commonwealth Games. The deadline for making the delivery of these orders is March 2010, but the first lot of buses is yet to arrive from any of the two companies. However, Tata Motors is expected to deliver about 25 buses by this month-end.

Delhi government is also planning to place order for more buses with the funds from urban development ministry under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme to promote public transport. In such a scenario, if the corporates, to whom each of the 17 clusters, which the city is divided into, will be awarded the corporatization scheme, also start placing orders for buses, it is feared that the delivery of the DTC orders will get affected.

The government is of the opinion that if the corporates also approach the manufacturers with orders for more buses, it will add to the strain. ‘‘Corporates may be given faster delivery of buses as they can disburse funds more quickly than the government, which has to follow certain process for making payments,’’ sources said.

The option of importing buses from other countries was also looked into, but the rates being quoted were much higher than those offered by the Indian manufacturers.

Transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely confirmed that the first cluster has not been awarded yet. "The corporatization scheme has been put on hold for now. Once the DTC bus order starts rolling, the first cluster will be awarded to the identified bidder," Lovely told in an interview with a leading English daily.

Sources said the phase-out of Bluelines will continue as per schedule, and by the end of the year another 700 buses will be taken off the roads. If the delivery of new DTC buses is delayed, the Bluelines phase-out process may be slowed down. The transport department has also stopped issuing new permits for Blueline buses, and even extensions of permits are temporary.

With the corporatization process having been delayed now, it seems unlikely that Delhi will meet the requirement of 11,000 buses on capital roads by 2010, as prescribed by the Supreme Court.

At present, there are about 5,800 buses, including 2,700 Bluelines and 3,100 DTC buses, operating on Delhi roads. Over 1,000 Bluelines have been phased out this year. But the government says the gap is being made up by increasing the efficiency of DTC buses, which are now making 20,400 trips as against 16,000 trips earlier.

Officials, however, said the city will not face shortage of buses before the Games. "The 11,000 mark for buses may not be reached by 2010, but there will be over 6,000 DTC buses and another 2,000-odd Bluelines plying in the city till next year. The number of trips made by DTC buses are being increased and people will not feel inconvenienced," sources said.

So far, DTC has just got the first order of 625 low floor buses.

Keeping Pace with 2010 CWG, Haryana Preparing to raise Fourth Commando Unit

With an eye to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Haryana will raise a fourth commando unit among a slew of steps being taken to beef up security in the national capital region (NCR), Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said Monday.

Speaking at the meeting of chief ministers on internal security, Hooda outlined the Haryana government’s plans to strengthen the police system in the satellite towns of Delhi - Faridabad and Gurgaon.

In order to strengthen the police system in the NCR, we have on Aug 1, 2009, created a Commissionerate of Police at Faridabad. This is the second Commissionerate of police in the NCR after Gurgaon. We are taking steps of raising a fourth India Reserve Battalion as a full commando unit, Hooda said.

Haryana has undertaken a drive to recruit 10,000 police personnel and has sanctioned new police stations for the vulnerable NCR region.

I would take this opportunity to thank the central government for allocating a fourth India Reserve Battalion to Haryana. I would like to place on record the request for one more India Reserve Battalion and one mahila (women’s) battalion to meet the challenges posed by the rapid economic expansion and the resultant population explosion in the NCR, Hooda added.

Haryana has created Quick Response Teams at the police station level and monitored by district police control rooms. These mobile units, comprising three-four police personnel each, are armed with weapons and protective gear and are stationed at strategic points round-the-clock.

For the mega cities in the NCR, Gurgaon and Faridabad, commando units have been placed at Bhondsi to serve as the Elite Response Unit and Special Intervention Unit, the chief minister said.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Delhi Slums to be Hidden by Bamboo Screen during CWG

What cannot be removed must be hidden, the city fathers believe. If you cannot eradicate poverty, eradicate the poor. The same can be seen in the plans of the government which is preparing enthusiastically for commonwealth games. The government is spending tons of money for 2010 CWG preparation which will barely last for 11 or 12 days, but it has no money for poor slum dwellers. I admit the fact that these developments will affect in a longer time and developing basic amenities will make life much smoother for ordinary citizens, but it does not mean that lower class must be left behind.

As Delhi readies to host the Commonwealth Games next year, it is looking to show its painted face to the world while hiding slums behind bamboo screens.( this ensembles like a old lady hiding her scars and wrinkles behind a thick layer of makeup)

Realizing that uprooting slum clusters from all over the capital and rehabilitating its inhabitants is not a pragmatic solution (can’t be done in the last 40 years, how it could be done in few months, very good excuse for sarkari babus) especially as the deadline for the 2010 Commonwealth Games is drawing to a close — the Delhi government has decided to literally screen the not-so-welcoming sights from the many visitors expected for the event.

Similar moves were made in Beijing during last year’s Olympics when screens were put up before not so pretty sections of the city which the authorities did not want the millions of visitors to China to see. Giant screens are also seen in several cities in Latin America to block out ugly sights from visitors.

Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta told IANS: “We have spoken to the agriculture department of Mizoram to help us in planting bamboo trees which can be used to screen the shanties and slums on the roadside of all those routes through which the Commonwealth convoy is expected to go.”

“We want to present a good face of Delhi during the Games next year, but it is not possible to remove all the slums. Therefore, we have decided to use bamboo screens instead to simply conceal the sights,” Mehta said.

The agriculture department of Mizoram has been especially asked for a type of bamboo that can withstand Delhi’s dry climate.

“In the northeast, the weather is humid, but for our purpose we need at least five-foot-tall bamboos which can survive the dry weather. We are also planning to take Assam’s help in this regard since bamboo grows there as well,” Mehta told in an interview.

“We are also consulting the National Bamboo Mission and the National Mission of Bamboo Application in this regard,” he added.

However, not all ‘jhuggis’ or slums will be ’screened’.

“Slum dwellers near the Commonwealth Games village have been rehabilitated at Bawana. About 9,000 houses have been made for them there,” Mehta said.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games Oct 3-14 next year is expected to see a huge turnout of players and tourists. Seventy-one member countries are scheduled to participate in the Games that have 17 sports disciplines.

While numerous other preparations are under way to make the event a success giving all flyovers an aesthetic look, improving connectivity and ensuring that there are enough rooms to accommodate the players and tourists the slums have continued to be a matter of concern.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Unique Color Code and Schemes for 2010 Games

A special team is mixing shades and textures to evoke the dynamism of Delhi and paint it in the hues of Commonwealth Games before the mega sporting event takes place next year

Delhi is all set to dazzle. ‘The Look’, a comprehensive plan to dress the capital in vibrant hues and adorn it with a blend of trendy and heritage designs for the Commonwealth Games in October 2010, will be presented before chief minister Sheila Dikshit next week.

The Image & Look team, under the Organizing Committee and led by additional director general Sangeeta Welinkar, is busy mixing shades and textures to evoke the dynamism of Delhi to ready her for the final show next year. From colorful schemes for bus-Q shelters, Metro stations, pillars, low-floor buses and autorickshaws to designer wrap-ups for covering old and faded buildings, ‘The Look’ aims to paint the capital in Games shades.

While green, pink and purple will form the prime make-up palette to beautify the city, red, yellow and blue will mark the ‘‘trinity of values’’ symbolizing the Games — red for unifying humanity, yellow for giving all athletes a chance to realize their potential and blue for promoting equality.

Forms and textures have been carved out from the capital’s rich architectural heritage, including the Mughal period structures. For instance, there are plans to replicate lattice screen (jali) from Red Fort in signage, kiosks and building wraps across the city.

The team has also made a proposal to beautify prime parks and business hubs like Connaught Place with a splash of green, pink and purple. To make all this possible, all the agencies concerned will be taken into confidence and prior permission will be sought from them.

The Games icon, ‘Shera’, which has its own ‘color identity’, will emerge in playful forms at various places in the city like the flyover at AIIMS-INA crossing. Sculptures are also being proposed at certain spots to make the drive around the city more pleasurable.

The idea of the spiraling Games logo finds its roots in the Ashoka Chakra — its 24 spokes spiral out in the vibrant shades representing the diversity and growth of India. It is being seen as a representation of India’s journey from tradition to modernity and the enthusiasm with which it is reaching out to embrace all 71 nations that will participate in the Games, said sources.

But this is not the final word. A senior official from the Organizing Committee said that ‘The Look’ will undergo changes and further refinement.

Games Logo Type

The logo is inspired by the Ashoka Chakra, the national symbol. The 24 spokes in the Chakra in the Indian flag represent an essential quality in each human being. It is an unfurling of the Chakra to represent the growth of India into a vibrant nation. It also symbolizes the coming together of a billion people of this nation as they celebrate the spirit of the Commonwealth Games and contribute to its success

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tourism & Infrastructure Will Get Huge Boost with CWG

The Commonwealth Games 2010 are set to change the hospitality and infrastructure landscape of Delhi and NCR

The Commonwealth Games, which will be held in the first two weeks of October 2010, are set to change the skyline of Delhi and NCR as far as infrastructure is concerned and push the Indian tourism industry to greater heights, as thousands of tourists are expected to land in India to watch the grand spectacle.

"In the past, Delhi had hosted the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982. It is believed that the Commonwealth Games are likely to boost the Indian tourism industry, as the foreign tourists who will be coming to India next year will be greatly dependent upon the travel agents for the tour itineraries, hotel bookings, flight reservations and visa," said Julius Fernandes, general manager of Country Inn & Suites by Carlson at Sahibabad.

Not only are the Games going to benefit the Indian tourism industry in a big way, these are also going to boost various job opportunities in sectors like hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, airports who are going to hire more employees in order to handle the large influx of tourists from all over the world. In addition, all the sports venues would be hiring on temporary basis for ground handling facilitation jobs for the duration of the games.

Fernandes was of the opinion that the hospitality sector would be gearing itself up to meet the challenges in sourcing manpower accordingly.

But is the Delhi/ NCR equipped to meet the accommodation requirements of foreign tourists? To this Fernandes replied, "Yes, we will be able to meet the upper segment demand (i.e. delegates/ guests sponsored by the government). The East Delhi NCR area alone has about 610 rooms in its inventory. A majority of the demand for rooms is also likely to be under USD 50 category which fits in the bed & breakfast category." He also believed that the bed & breakfast option needs to be augmented by the government with a single window clearance within seven days of application with elimination of bureaucratic hurdles. 417 days from today the Commonwealth Games are going to be held. It is now not possible for any new hotel project to be built within a short span of 14 months."

Though a short-term affair, the Games would have the capacity to change the hospitality landscape in totality and for the better. Qualitatively - to meet the demand of world class quality, the hotels shall deliver the best that is available all across the globe as it is a matter of national pride and showcasing of the products and services of each hotel, for the purpose of attracting future business. Quantitatively - it shall boost revenues during these 16 days and result in better revenue per available room.

Going back to the ASIAD Games, in 1982, in Delhi for the ASIAD, 10 hotel projects with capacity of 3,500 rooms were taken up. This vastly improved the infrastructure of Delhi as far as room supply of quality hotels was concerned. Delhi suddenly had a good number of world class hotels. Similarly in a run up to the Commonwealth Games with many hotel projects nearing their completion and adding to the room supply in Delhi/ NCR, the overall availability of hotel rooms would improve. With brand new hotels adding to the Delhi landscape, older existing hotels would be under pressure to renovate their existing facilities and to improve their services and products.

And the spiraling effect of the developmental projects would be immense with connectivity and infrastructure improving considerably. The hotel industry has an optimistic view on the games looking at the magnanimous tasks in a city like Delhi/ NCR.

With the government completing the connectivity projects from hotels to the Games Village, Games venues, airport, bus depots and railway stations and developing the connectivity from the hotels to main link roads, leading to the highways connecting Agra and Jaipur, a substantial amount of visitors can be expected to travel to Agra, Jaipur and the neighboring hill stations.

The Ninth Asian Games held in New Delhi in 1982, were one of the biggest sporting events after independence. Come 2010, the country takes a step further to host the Commonwealth Games in the same city. India would expect over one lakh tourists during the upcoming games.


Delhi will have a dedicated Metro line from the airport to the city centre - Connaught Place - by 2010. The Games Village as well as the main competition venues such as the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and the Indira Gandhi Stadium will be connected through the Metro. The inter-city connectivity as well as passenger capacity will be enhanced. All Metro stations are planned to be Wi-Fi enabled by 2010.

A four-lane, 2.2 km underground stretch from Ring Road to Lodhi will link the Games Village to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, reducing traveling time for athletes. Twelve new flyovers and several bridges and under-bridges are being constructed to improve road connectivity with the Games Villages, the sports venues, and within the city. Road widening also is in progress. The new eight-lane expressway from Gurgaon to Delhi is functional. A total of 1,100 new low floor, high-capacity air-conditioned buses will ply on Delhi roads by 2010 to ease commuting.

Hosting events of this caliber is a privilege and an opportunity. India hosted the Asian Games over two decades ago when Delhi got its first facelift and did a good job of it. Having said that the world has moved forward at an amazing pace and standards have been upped. India must realize that it needs to deliver what the world expects and not what it thinks is adequate.

Preparation on Full Swing for Games

The Union government, the Delhi heads of government and various committees are hell bent to ensure that the Commonwealth Games late next year do not come a cropper

The Government of Delhi and the Union Government are both involved in developing the infrastructure and putting in place the logistics for the Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi in late 2010. Initially, the common perception was that the government machinery was faltering and things would not be ready when the time comes to show case the capital to the world at large.

However, the first concrete step that the government took was to appoint Manohar Singh Gill, as union minister for sports for the country. This designation would effectively override any other mandarin such as Secretary in charge of Commonwealth Games etc. This may have served as a positive step towards having full-fledged machinery targeted towards the completion of a perfectly tourist friendly city willing to welcome athletes and their admirers alike.

As a result, many economic measures have been initiated to support this project. The most notable of these is the bed & breakfast scheme begun by the Noida development authority.

Says Sanjay Anand who owns a converted house for this purpose, "We cannot put up a sign calling this a hotel. However, all the facilities inside the house are equal if not better than any hotel anywhere in Noida. We are also authorized to give out invoices as a commercial establishment."

The chairman of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, E Shreedharan, who is a legendary engineer, has already been accused of cutting corners regarding safety to meet the Commonwealth Games deadline next year. One contractor, Gammon India has been found to have implemented a wrong design for a pillar supporting the metro rail; this resulting in an accident with at least five confirmed deaths.

The Commonwealth Games have also resulted in a chaotic situation for football clubs in New Delhi as not one stadium is available for use. All of them have been put under the renovator's axe and are being spruced up with rapid work-in progress.

Also true is the cultural side of things. Minister KPS Gill put on his administrator's hat and de-notified the Indian Hockey Federation when the head of hockey, his namesake, KPS Gill, the former policeman, was found to have been indulging in favoritism and was found to be guilty of bad systems within his flock.

Whether the Commonwealth Games will be successful or not may depend on what the average Indian defines as success. At the same time, it is quite true that these games will completely alter the landscape of the capital as it happened with ASIAD 82. Investments in infrastructure come with an excuse and this one is as good as any.

Sporting Glory for India: CWG 2010

Sporting Glory for India: CWG 2010In less than 14 months from now, the nation will host the XIX 2010 Commonwealth Games, its largest international multi-sport event since the Asian Games in 1982

The countdown has begun for the XIX 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG), scheduled to be held in New Delhi, India, from October 3 to 14, 2010, in which about 72 nations are planning to participate. Going by past records, when Delhi hosted the first Asian Games in 1951, followed by the 9th Asian Games in 1982, the forthcoming Games are speculated to have far-reaching consequences not just for the sports in the country, but also in the fields of economy, tourism, transport and culture.

The 2010 CWG is expected to give Indian sports the much-needed shot in the arm, similar to the impetus it had received after hosting the Asian Games in 1982 when it finished with an impressive 57-medal tally. When women's hockey debuted in the 1982 Asian Games, India had the distinction of winning the first gold medal. P.T. Usha's success saga also has its origins in the 1982 ASIAD in which she won two gold medals in the 100 meters and 200 meters.

Conducting a sporting event of the magnitude of the Commonwealth Games is undoubtedly a matter of great pride for the country and is seen as a great step forward in giving a fillip to India's image overseas. India is being hailed as the emerging world economic superpower and the Games can be the perfect showcase to present the country on the world stage. It will also be a good opportunity for Delhi to portray its grand heritage, juxtaposed with all the trappings of a truly global city with world-class amenities.

Among the many merits of hosting the Games would be the infrastructural, cultural and economic resurgence of Delhi. With the CWG, the landscape and skyline of the city are set to change forever. And the transformation is understandably going to be fairly drastic. In addition to the Metro construction, road infrastructure is being expanded in a big way with flyovers, cloverleaf flyovers and bridges to provide connectivity to the Games Village and other sports venues. Not just Delhi, states such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are augmenting their infrastructure in keeping with the demands of the Games.

Sports lovers would remember that the 1982 ASIAD also brought about major socio-economic changes in India, when the color television was introduced in our country for the first time. This was the first time that the Games were broadcast in color on television. The Moolchand and Sewa Nagar flyovers, too, are bequests of the 1982 ASIAD Games.

However, the accent then was on providing for the bare necessities for the Games. The task of hosting the Games is far more challenging this time round. The stress is on optimization of the existing infrastructure with modernization that conforms to the highest international standards, besides speedy development of infrastructure such as the Metro, airport and road network projects.

The other offshoots of the CWG 2010 would be creation of new jobs, increased investments and a boom in the hospitality and tourism industry. According to official estimates, two million foreign tourists and 3.5 million domestic tourists are likely to arrive in Delhi in 2010 to witness the Games.

In order to cater to the tourist influx, the monuments and heritage buildings would be refurbished and the hitherto neglected areas of East Delhi will get a striking makeover. So, what the Games would essentially leave in its wake are unprecedented infrastructure and civic facilities for Delhites, besides opportunities for economic development and prosperity.

But the biggest boon of them all would be the trail of world-class sports facilities that the Games would leave behind, inspiring and enabling future generations of Indian sports persons to excel and create a glorious sports legacy that the nation can be proud of.

In the recent past, sportsmen such as ace shooter Abhinav Bindra, boxer Vijendra Kumar and wrestler Sushil Kumar, with their remarkable performances at the Beijing Olympics, have given their country the hope of a rich sports tradition and the upcoming Commonwealth Games would provide the perfect setting for the sportsmen to live up to the expectations of their countrymen.

Playing it Right for Commonwealth Games

Sudhir Sobti, Director, Media Relations, Organizing Committee, Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi, on preparations for the Games, excerpts from the interview

One of the major events at the time of Commonwealth Games will be Queen's Baton Relay. What plans have been put into place to ensure a smooth journey of baton in all the states of the country and its final arrival at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium well on time?

The Queen's Baton Relay will be launched by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II on October 29, 2009 from Buckingham Palace, London.

The Queen's Baton Relay would pass through 70 nations and territories and travel through 28 states, 7 union territories and 2 island territories in India.

It will travel through India for 100 days, visiting every Indian state and its capital, plus many other cities along the way, covering in excess of 20,000 kilometers. It will enter India via the Wagah Border (from Pakistan) on June 25, 2010. This day also coincides with 100 days to go for the Games. The route is in a clockwise direction around India starting from the Wagah border.

The baton would use 27 vehicles to travel, including different modes of transport while in India.

The Security Functional Area Operational Plan has been completed by the Organizing Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi (OC CWG Delhi 2010) in conjunction with Delhi Police, the key agency for security for the Games and it includes the security of the Queen's Baton Relay in its domestic leg.

There would be approximately 80 staff on road accompanying the baton while on the domestic sector. On arrival at the opening ceremony, the baton will have traveled in excess of 190,000 kilometers over a 340 day period; this will make the Queen's Baton Relay 2010 Delhi one of the longest relays in the history of the Commonwealth Games. The relay will conclude with the final Baton bearer entering the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the XIX Commonwealth Games on October 3, 2010.

Managing traffic is the biggest challenge for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Now with less than 500 days remaining for the mega event to begin and traffic still a major problem in Delhi, what measures are being taken to iron out traffic related blues?

The govt. of Delhi has planned dedicated lanes for transporting athletes and Games family during the Games. There would be dedicated focal points for pick-up and drop facilities for spectators and workforce including volunteers. The problem of congestion around stadium / venues is addressed by providing park and ride, park and walk facilities near stadium. The Delhi government in coordination with Metro plans to provide shuttle service from Metro stations to the venues. The traffic police will make detailed plans for traffic diversion to minimize inconvenience to public.

The govt. of Delhi is pressing in service CNG run comfortable low floor buses as an alternative to private transport. Development of new lines and extension of existing lines of the metro rail network to improve connectivity between Games venues.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Indian boxers Sweating for Commonwealth Games

The Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports in Patiala is known as the "Mecca of Indian sports". Today, it is abuzz with top-notch boxing players of the country practicing here for upcoming World Boxing Championship and the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The Indian pugilists are practicing here to ensure that they win medals at sports events in Milan (Italy) and in New Delhi.

India is to send a team of nine boxers for the world championship where over 700 boxers from 100 countries will vie for medals in their respective weight categories.

Among the boxers is Vijender Singh, who is in high spirits since winning a medal at the Beijing Olympics. He is practicing hard for World Boxing Championship to be held in Italy in September this year and is optimistic about bringing laurels to the country.

Singh hails from Haryana and is due to receive this years prestigious Rajiv Khel Ratna Award, the highest award for excellence in sports in India.

We are practicing hard for the World Boxing Championship. The event is considered to be the toughest of all competitions. India has never won any medal in the World Boxing Championship, but we are practicing hard to bring it this time as we did in the Olympics, said Vijender Kumar, Olympic Bronze medalist.

I feel a team event is completely different from an individual sport. Cricket is a good team sport but other sports should be given equal status in the country. It is good that for the first time three sportsperson in individual sports are going to be honored.

It sends a message that individual sports are being recognized in India and have a good future. Youngsters have started taking to individual sports rather going in for cricket. In individual sports, you can easily prove yourself and gain from it, Vijender added.

Besides Vijender Singh, other medal hopes are from Akhil and Jitendra, who won several hearts at the Beijing Olympics.

Akhil Kumar beat world champion Sergey Vodopyanov of Russia in the bantamweight pre-quarterfinals last August.

People are noticing the growth in boxing because everybody wants a good career and they work very hard for it. People are realizing that boxing can give you name and fame like cricket. It causes pain but this pain has its own high. There is no such addiction like pain in this sport. It’s the best, said Akhil Kumar.

The pugilists have been toiling hard for the last six months under the guidance of national coach G. S. Sandhu. Presently, 40 boxers are undergoing training.

Suranjoy Singh, who recently won a gold medal at the Asian Championship, is India’s other bright hope.

Recognition is there in the world today because it is the first time that four boxers have got world medals I think there is an overall improvement in the boys and they are taking a keen interest. Everybody is working very hard, we don’t have to push them to work, said Sandhu.

16 Officials including 3 IAS suspended in NOIDA land Scam

Sixteen officials, including three senior IAS officers, were suspended on Monday for their alleged involvement in the irregularities in the allotment of plots to hospitality groups in Noida for building hotels for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The plot allotment for 14 hotels dates to January 2007, when the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh was in power. The allotment was subsequently cancelled by Chief Minister Mayawati on July 31 that year.

An official spokesman said the alleged irregularities caused the exchequer an estimated loss of Rs.4721.14 crore. Apart from disciplinary action, Chief Minister Mayawati ordered criminal proceedings against the officials.

Among the officials suspended are the then chairman of the Noida Board, Rakesh Bahadur (now member of the Board of Revenue, Allahabad), the then Chief Executive Officer, Sanjeev Saran, and the then Additional CEO, K. Raveendra Naik. Orders have been issued for strict action against Devdutt, who retired as Commissioner of the Meerut Division. Eight officers of the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority have also been suspended.

More heads are likely to roll, as an internal inquiry has been ordered to spot the officials who allegedly delayed action against those involved in the irregularities. Ms. Mayawati has given the Industrial Development Department 15 days. Additional Cabinet Secretary Vijay Shankar Pandey told reporters that action would soon be taken against the officials responsible for the delay.

Incidentally, Chief Secretary Atul Kumar Gupta was the Industrial Development Commissioner in 2007, and in that capacity a member of the NOIDA Board.

Mr. Pandey said the land was allotted as commercial plots, in violation of the NOIDA Statutory Regulations, 1991, the Building Regulations of 2006 and the various provisions of the Industrial Area Development Act, 1976. The plots were allotted at the rate of Rs. 7400 per square meter against the revenue price of Rs. 70,000.

The allotment is part of the Government Order issued by the Tourism Department in June 2006 to promote investment in the tourism industry. The decision to implement the policy was adopted at the 135th meeting of the NOIDA Board.

Subsequently, plots were identified in sectors 96, 97 and 98 and advertisements issued in newspapers in October for allotment of 25 plots for building star hotels. Fourteen plots were allotted on January 12, 2007.

The allotment order was challenged in the Allahabad High Court on the ground that no tender was invited. After the allotment order was canceled by the NOIDA Authority in August 2007, the 14 hospitality groups filed a petition in the High Court.

Luxury Tent Accommodation Option for CWG 2010

Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Government of India will explore the possibilities for tent accommodation in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games 2010. The Tourism Ministry has estimated a shortfall of hotel rooms required for the tourists during the Commonwealth Games 2010 in the National Capital Region (NCR). According to sources, discussions were held recently at the last tourism stakeholders meeting.

Representatives of the hotel associations have asked the Ministry to set up luxury tents as an alternative mode of accommodation. A few luxury tent operators from Pushkar, Rajasthan have shown interest and have approached the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI). The tent operators want to set up tents if suitable land is available for a one month period.

However, sources revealed that, representatives of Delhi Development Authority (DDA), as well as Urban Development Ministry did not show any interest in the proposal under the pretext that suitable land was not available in Delhi. At the same time, Keshni Anand Arora, Secretary, Haryana Tourism has evinced interest in the proposal and agreed to explore suitable land for the same in Gurgaon.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Only Clay pots to be procured for plantation for games

Eco-Friendly Initiative for Commonwealth games

What started off as a glaring example of the wide disparities in estimates of government departments has now ended up being an environment-friendly initiative?

The expenditure finance committee of Delhi government has recently ruled that none of the 15 lakh pots (along with plants) to be procured by the city government for the purpose of beautification during the Commonwealth Games should be of concrete. Only earthen pots will
make the cut and that too the ones that are priced less than Rs 70 per pot.

While the decision has obvious environmental implications, earthen pots are easier to dispose of the main reason for the ruling, sources say, is the huge disparity in price of pots as submitted by the environment and forest department and the PWD.

PWD had given a proposal to buy pots at a little over Rs 259 per piece, while the environment department had settled for Rs 70, raising a stink of corruption that was comprehensively quelled by the EFC’s decision to make Rs 70 the ceiling.

According to the minutes of the meeting : ‘‘Cost of earthen pot and plant may be on an average of Rs 70 per plant. The committee approved this average cost with the direction for timely completion of the work. Provision for contingencies at 2% may be provided. PWD may revise their estimate appropriately.’’

Elsewhere the document clearly says that no cement pots may be used. Even the spare ones need to be earthen. Revealed a senior official: ‘‘PWD had explained their estimate by saying that they were getting designer cement pots etc but the price difference was too much and was bound to have raised questions. Moreover, cement pots are extremely cumbersome and their disposal is a problem. Taking all these things into account a clear directive was given about earthen pots.’’

The environment department will buy 10 lakh pots for which the EFC sanctioned Rs 7 crore. For PWD the amount sanctioned is nearly double — Rs 13 crore — for buying just 5 lakh pots. Senior PWD officials say the amount includes the costs of setting up a nursery for the plants but the minutes do not mention that. Finance officials confirmed that expenses for a nursery have also been sanctioned.

Most of the plants however will be brought in from the Forest Research Institute of Dehradun and also from Vishakhapatnam. There is also a provision for individual department raising the plants — which is the head under which the extra money has been sanctioned. The chief minister who was present in the meeting suggested that an inter-departmental committee should be constituted to coordinate, design and procure the potted plants from various sources. Officials will visit sites like Gajrola, Haridwar etc to select the plants.

"Only those flowering plants should be selected which may blossom during the October, November months...The non-flowering plants should be such as to give lush green appearance," the minutes read.

For Security Reasons No Wi-Fi for 2010 Commonwealth Games

After the Center issued directives against the use of Wi-Fi in offices of sensitive ministries citing security reasons, the Delhi government too has dropped the idea of providing high-speed Internet services through Wi-Fi in certain spots across the city for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“We had no option but to drop the plan after Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), the service provider for the project, refused to go ahead in the identified Wi-Fi zones citing security reasons,” Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta said.

The move has come after it was felt that wireless fidelity (WiFi) was not a fool-proof mechanism in view of militants using it to carry out attacks in Mumbai and Ahmedabad last year.

Mehta, however, did not rule out revival of the project once proper security measures are in place.

Haryana on track to contribute its share for Commonwealth Games Accommodation

6,000 rooms almost ready, more to be completed very soon

As the authorities in the Capital try to ready as many rooms as possible for next year’s Commonwealth Games, the National Capital Region too is preparing to throw open its doors for the expected surge of visitors.

Work is complete on 5,728 of the total 8,652 rooms, which the Haryana government had been asked to provide in the NCR.

“Over 90 per cent work in these rooms is complete. Then there are another 1,032 rooms where work is over 50 per cent complete. In all, the state would offer more than 6,000 rooms when the Games begin,” said an official spokesperson of Haryana Tourism.

Around 1,892 rooms have been categorized “doubtful” which means that work is less than 50 per cent complete and they are unlikely to be ready before the Games.

The spokesperson also informed that a special room booking portal for the Games would be launched by the Ministry of Tourism and all the completed rooms would be available for booking several months in advance.

As per the Ministry of Tourism’s estimates, around 40,000 additional rooms in the NCR region would be required for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Haryana and UP governments were given a joint target of around 11,000 rooms.

On a recent visit to the city, Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja had said that there was some problem in target fulfillment on part of UP and the loss was being made good by Delhi and Haryana.

“Haryana could have provided more rooms,” a senior government official said. “But there was some problem due to the delay in construction of the Badarpur flyover, which affected connectivity with Faridabad. But we have still met the target given to us.

The state government is also introducing a special shopping festival in Gurgaon to coincide with the Games. Planned on the lines of the Dubai Shopping Festival, the first version of the event will be held in September and would be repeated next year during the Games. All the prominent shopping malls of Gurgaon would feature in it.”

The rooms have been developed under seven different categories.

Four state government bodies — the Haryana State Industrial and Investment Development Corporation (HSIIDC), the Town and Country Planning Department, the Urban Local Bodies Department and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has given their land for the construction of housing societies and hotels.

In all, 47 different sites of these four bodies would yield around 3,100 rooms (definite room category).

Around 1,394 rooms fall under the category of private hotels, which are in Haryana near Delhi.

These include three five stars — the Trident Hilton, Gurgaon (136 rooms), the Bristol, Gurgaon (82 rooms) and Fortune Select, Gurgaon (83 rooms).

Hotel Atrium Hill View in Faridabad falls in the four-star category and would offer 100 rooms.

Around 726 rooms are in the three-star category of hotels spread in Gurgaon, Panipat, Faridabad, Rewari and Bahadurgarh.

Tourism complexes run by Haryana Tourism would offer another 473 rooms.

The Corporation has 15 tourism complexes in Faridabad, Surajkund, Ballabgarh, Hodel, Sultanpur, Rai, Damdama and Gurgaon. In addition, four camping sites are being developed too.

Even the apartments being built on the land given by the four government agencies have been classified in various star categories.

For example Ascot Hotels and Resorts, is developing 108 service apartments in Sector-1 of IMT, Manesar. The land has been provided by HSIIDC. All these 108 rooms fall in the four-star category.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

MCD to Install 50 LCDs at Various Locations in the City

Municipal Corporation of Delhi(MCD) will install 50 LCD television at various populous and common places in the city, where Delhites will see Commonwealth Games to be held next year. Along with Games news, programs of general interests and others will also be played.

And the best part, these televisions will retain there position after the games also( if left unstolen by some great citizens of delhi :)), so that citizens can enjoy them forever..

Thanks to 2010 Commonwealth Games, it really surgeries the historical old capital of Delhi and gave it a fresh celebrity look.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

CWG village to be ready by March 31: Sports Ministry

India’s junior sports minister Pratik Prakashbapu Patil said Tuesday that 56 percent of construction of the Commonwealth Games Village has been completed and the complex will be ready by March next year.

Patil informed the Lok Sabha that progress of the work at the Commonwealth Games Village is being closely monitored by the sports ministry, CWG organizing committee, chief minister and lieutenant governor of Delhi.

The Minister further informed the House that for the 17 disciplines of CWG-2010, 12 venues will be developed as competition venues and the various venue owning agencies i.e. Sports Authority of India, Delhi Development Authority, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, University of Delhi etc are spending considerable funds for developing these venues as world class venues to deliver the best results.

An amount of Rs.1, 770 crore has been allocated by the Planning Commission to the Govt. of NCT of Delhi for improvement in the city infrastructure which, inter-alia, includes substantial amount for beautification of Delhi. In addition, NDMC and MCD will also spend considerable amount from their own resources for sports and civic infrastructure, power, water etc, he said.

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the CWG Village, meant to accommodate over 8,000 athletes from 71 countries, is not being built on the Yamuna riverbed or floodplain.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan gave the verdict, dismissing a Delhi High Court judgment of Nov 2008 and removing all uncertainties over the ongoing construction of the Games Village.

140MGD water extra, but may not be enough

Frenzied activity is on at the Commonwealth Games Village site to finish two important projects by the end of this year. One is a dedicated 1 million gallon per day (MGD) water treatment plant (WTP) that will supply water exclusively to the Games Village. The other is a sewage treatment plant (STP) that will clean waste generated at the site and reroute it for non-potable uses.

Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials say the 50% of work on both projects has been completed and it will finish by December or January. ‘‘With the WTP in place, there will be no need for any further drinking water supply. We will follow strict treatment measures to ensure that the water quality meets all standards. Even the STP will have a membrane reactor technology that will ensure treatment at tertiary level,’’ said Santosh Vaidya, additional CEO, DJB.

Delhi is getting 826 MGD of treated water. By next year, DJB estimates that it will go up to about 966 MGD. However, even the extra water may not be able to solve all of Delhi’s problems unless distribution is improved. The capital is relying on 80 MGD water that it will get on the completion of the Munak canal. The canal, work on which started in May 2003 with the clause that it would be completed in 27 months, is stuck in controversy.

Recently, Haryana Irrigation Department announced that the delay was due to Delhi’s inability to acquire land for the last leg of the canal that is expected to save about 80 MGD in transmission losses. Delhi officials maintain that Haryana has been unable to complete several patches on its side and hence the delay. ‘‘Land has already been acquired by DJB for the project. Haryana officials first said that the canal would be ready by July but now they say it will be complete in December,’’ said Vaidya.

Water from Munak will be routed to three plants that have been set up specially for this. The Dwarka WTP is about 10-15% complete and will have a 40 MGD capacity. Okhla is about 20% complete. Both projects are likely to be commissioned next year. The 20 MGD Bawana plant is already complete and is waiting for water from Munak.

Additional 45 MGD water will also be available by beginning of next year after recycling plants in four WTPs are set up. The 16 MGD plant at Haiderpur has already been commissioned. An 11 MGD plant at Wazirabad, a 10 MGD plant at Bhagirathi and another 8 MGD plant at Chandrawal are under construction. About 11 lakh people will benefit.

The only things left to be done are construction of underground reservoirs and replacement of old and leaking pipe lines. According to sources, with about 50% of all DJBs transmission lines between 40 and 50 years old, there are frequent cases of pipe bursts. Officials say that about 100 km of the 700 km network requires immediate replacement. Work on 50 km has already been carried out while another 50 km is in the process of being replaced.

Work on underground reservoirs, essential for an equitable distribution of water, is however stuck due to various reasons. Delhi is to have a system of 112 UGRs. Only 24 of these have been commissioned so far. Sonia Vihar has a network of 28 UGRs, many of which are not complete. Officials say that 10 will be commissioned this year, 12 next year and land for 7 is yet to be acquired. ‘‘Some major UGRs got stuck since the contractor ran away. By the time we could re-tender it, the costs had escalated. Land acquisition for UGRs is another problem. Delhi barely has space and it is very tough to get land where it is required,’’ said a senior official.

Present water availability 826 MGD

Expected water availability by October 2010 966 MGD

Water from treatment plants 771 MGD

Plants operational

Wazirabad | 120 MGD

Nangloi | 40 MGD

Chandrawal | 90 MGD

Sonia Vihar | 140 MGD

Haiderpur | 200 MGD

Bhagirathi | 2100 MGD

Commonwealth Games site 1 MGD

In the pipeline

Dwarka | 40 MGD

Bawana | 20 MGD

Okhla | 20 MGD

Water from recycling plants

45 MGD Haiderpur plant is operational with a capacity of 16 MGD

In the pipeline

Wazirabad | 11 MGD

Bhagirathi | 10 MGD

Chandrawal | 8 MGD

Groundwater is about 150 MGD

Commonwealth Games Boon For Overall Facelift of the City

Delhi is building an impressive infrastructure in the run-up to the Games but is struggling to address its power and water concerns. Times City concludes its Commonwealth stock-taking exercise with a final look at these two issues

This summer, as the mercury and consequently the demand for electricity soared, distribution companies (discoms) fell short by a massive margin in fulfilling the peak power requirements of Delhi, resulting in widespread protests. This has raised doubts over the power capital’s ability to host a power-packed event like the Commonwealth Games next year.

At a time when discoms are reluctant to buy expensive power to tide over the crisis, Delhi government is not taking chances. Against an anticipated power demand of about 4,000 MW in October next year, it has made arrangements for 5,600 MW. ‘‘We have entered into agreements for much more than the anticipated demand during the Games.

We have tie-ups with Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and the Centre. New power stations are coming up in Bawana, Jhajjar and Dadri. Though some units of the Bawana project are running into delays, these will be covered by the first deadline of the commissioning of the first unit in March next year,’’ said Delhi power secretary Rajender Kumar.

The government also promises two sources of power for all the stadiums so that if one fails, a back-up is always ready. ‘‘A third back-up is also in place for stadium-backed agency,’’ said Kumar. Besides these, the existing systems are being strengthened and the Centre has already clarified that the power from its share of unallocated quota, almost 4,000 MW, will be reserved for Delhi from October to December 2010.

Delhi’s crucial projects for the Commonwealth Games:

Aravali Super Thermal Power Project, Jhajjar

Capacity | 1,500 MW

Delhi’s share | 750 MW

Congress president Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone for this coal-based project in October last year. It will be a joint venture of NTPC, Delhi and Haryana governments. While NTPC will hold 51% stake, Delhi and Haryana will have 24.5% each.

The plant being constructed by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) will have three units of 500 MW each. Delhi and Haryana will get 750MW each. The first unit of 500 MW is expected to be commissioned by June 2010 out of which Delhi will get 250 MW. The remaining two units are running into delay and while the second unit is expected to start by September-October, the third will only be commissioned by December 2010. ‘‘The delay is due to boiler supply and site works,’’ said an official.

But officials insisted the delay would not hinder their plans. ‘‘Up to 70% work on the first unit has been completed. PGCL will construct a dedicated line for transmitting power from Jhajjar to Mundka from where Delhi Transco take over,’’ said a power department official.

Dadri Thermal Power Station

Capacity | 980 MW

Delhi’s share | 900 MW

Delhi government signed a MoU with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for expansion of the Dadri Thermal Power Station with a commitment for 90% power share. The transmission line of this power station will also be laid by NTPC as the Electricity Act states that the responsibility lies with the generating company.

‘‘The first unit of this plant of 450 MW will be commissioned by November this year, which is actually ahead of schedule. The second unit of 500 MW is expected to be ready by February-March 2010,’’ said a senior official.

Pragati Phase III, Bawana

Capacity | 1,500 MW

Delhi’s share | 950 MW

This gas-based project is said to be running behind schedule but power department officials deny this. Awarded mega-power status certificate, the plant is entitled to get a waiver of Customs duty on imported plant and machinery. It will also get excise duty relief on indigenous plant and equipment, resulting in a saving of nearly Rs 200 crore on project cost.

It has six units four are gas based while two are steam based. ‘‘The first 250 MW unit is expected to be commissioned by March next year, while the other units would follow in May and August. But the plant has run into a three-month delay and the first unit will not be commissioned before June 2010. By the Games, four units will be commissioned,’’ said a source.

The project is critical for meeting the demand during the Games. The government has been projecting this project as the answer to Delhi’s power woes.

Damodar Valley Corporation

Capacity | 2,500 MW

Delhi’s share | 2,500 MW

It is expected to supply 2,300 MW by October 2010. But there has been some delay in the commissioning of units 7 and 8. According to Delhi government, power from DVC will flow to the city in phases and by 2012, Delhi will get up to 8,500 MW. Recently, Damodar Valley Corporation in Jharkhand had failed to deliver the promised power to Delhi on time. This has led to a massive shortage during peak summer months and long power cuts in the city.

What Delhi is doing to augment its supply?

Anticipated demand in Oct 2010 4,000 MW

Government’s arrangement for up to 6,000 MW

Crucial projects for 2010

  • Aravali super thermal project
  • Pragati phase III (Bawana)
  • Dadri Thermal power plant
  • Damodar Valley Corporation

What’s more?

4000 MW from the central unallocated quota two independent sources for all stadiums 108 MW from NDPL’s pilot power station, to be commissioned by June 2010 strengthening of transmission network and upgrading streetlights Agreements with Chamera (NHPC), Koldam HEP (NTPC)