Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Going Green for Games

Delhi will be going green this October. In an effort to reduce the carbon footprints of the Commonwealth Games 2010, the organizing committee (OC) is planning a number of initiatives to make the Games ecofriendly.

Said TS Darbari, joint director general, OC, ‘‘We realize that the carbon footprint of the Commonwealth Games will be large, and have taken steps to ensure that the Games still remain green.’’ From sensitization to making the venues energy-efficient, a number of steps have been drawn up. And while some are novel — like using the construction debris as part of the construction at venues, others are original, to say the least. Said Darbari, ‘‘As part of the awareness campaign, we are planning to distribute CFL lights before the Games to people.’’

The recommendations given by advisor to OC’s sub-committee on green Games, TERI chief RK Pachauri, are equally interesting: planting trees along the railway tracks across the country, building biowalls in the venues and converting the Safdarjung airport into a city forest.

On paper though, the OC’s plans are more conventional. ‘‘Most of the competition venues will be energy efficient, and have been built keeping in mind that 30% of the sites will be landscaped,’’ said Darbari. That’s not all.
Most venues will have CFL and TL5 lights and LED fixtures while for construction purposes, fly-ash bricks have been used.

‘‘There are five major areas in which we plan to go green: land (the venue construction and operations), energy, water, waste management and sensitization,’’ added Darbari. According to OC, even the construction debris, which is usually just shifted to a landfill, has been reused in leveling or pavement blocks in many of the Games venues. The venues will also have waste management facilities, with the OC recommending the civic agencies to stick to green methods while also installing waste water treatment plants at many sites. The OC has tied-up with the IMD and the ministry of earth and sciences to monitor air pollution during the Games.

Added Darbari, ‘‘The OC has the UN’s environment programme on board as a partner in the green initiative. We are going to ensure the venues use CNG gensets.’’ Awareness campaigns also form a large part of the initiative. Besides the campaigns run by the government, the OC plans to launch a ‘‘clean Delhi drive’’. It has signed an undertaking with the ministry of environment and forestry to plant 3.5 lakh saplings.

According to OC officials, the MoEF will be planting bio-diverse saplings along the route of the Queens Baton Relay, which will be indigenous to the regions through which the Baton will pass.