Monday, December 21, 2009

Archery Venue set to miss Deadline

Yet another Commonwealth Games project has run into extra time. After concern was raised over missed deadlines in the case of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and S P Mukherjee Swimming Complex, now work at India Gate lawns the venue for the archery finals is stuck in a turf war.

Work at the site, also known as Central Vista, is reportedly getting delayed because both the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and Organizing Committee (OC) have issued tenders inviting bidders for the same job. ‘‘Since the responsibility was given to us, we had issued an expression of interest in September and are now in the process of selecting bidders,’’ said a senior CPWD official.

However, department officials claimed that they had come across a tender notice issued by the OC too in a national daily earlier this month, which had created ‘‘confusion’’. OC, on the other hand, maintained that there was no lack of clarity. Said a senior OC official: ‘‘The tender has been issued for overlays in sporting arenas.’’ Even as the squabbling continued, experts felt that further delay would compromise preparations for the 2010 Games. The CGF head, Michael Fennell, had on Saturday raised the issue of delay in construction of venues, especially pertaining to J N Stadium and S P Mukherjee Complex with the sporting body. Central Vista is the venue for the finals of the archery competition. The practice sessions and preliminary events will be held at DDA’s Yamuna Sports Complex. YSC is expected to be completed in March 2010, along with most other Games venues.

The Central Vista plans include a temporary structure on 2 acres of land on the India Gate lawns at an estimated cost of Rs 7 crore. About eight reputed firms with expertise in construction of temporary structures for sporting events have already submitted tenders. The venue will be equipped with modern facilities, including a waterproof roof, and will have a seating capacity of over 3,000.