Thursday, July 29, 2010

Things in Vein: Projects are not fully ready

The spanking new squash and badminton stadium, built at a cost of Rs 329 crore, is complete. Both match and practice courts have the field of play in place. While painting of the walls and rooms, last-minute work on the ceiling as well as touchup jobs like cleaning of windows and other glass enclosures remain, the Siri Fort stadium built by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) at least looks like it is ready to host a sporting event.

Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all that can be said about this venue, which has been missing deadlines consistently. The landscape work which is sizeable as the stadium has been built on a large track of land (over 10 acres) is nowhere near completion.

Mounds of earth, to be used to construct the undulating green landscape in front of the stadium, lie around even as the temporary parking is still being constructed. An internal report puts the progress of work at 92%. Entry to the complex is hazardous since security bollards have just started being laid. Sources at the site admitted that the security measures, which are now being put in, will take some time to be completed. This includes the hi-tech scanners that will be set up so that screening of vehicles is a seamless process that is connected to centralized computers which will automatically check if the vehicle is safe.

Officials working on the system, being put in place by ECIL, say the entire process will take at least a month to be completed. The approach road, which DDA officials say will be built by the PWD, is only a mud track, which is being dug up to put in new cables. The road within the complex has been concretized, though the track along the Siri Fort Wall a heritage site looks in bad shape. The temporary parking behind the stadium, which was reportedly built over the existing green patch of the Siri Fort sports complex, has tiles lying around. Officials claimed these would be cleared ‘‘soon’’.

As you walk in, the impressive sight of the stadium is marred by the innumerable mounds of dug-up earth which have been left to be cleared by the landscaping department. DDA’s ambitious plan of covering the 10.91 acres of the complex with over 4,000 trees is not likely to be fulfilled. Sources admitted that plans of having seating arrangements along the front of the complex and the Siri Fort wall as well as food outlets have already been shelved. Saplings, which were both specially grown as well as bought by the land agency for a few lakh, can be seen rotting along the debris of the construction site. Officials said the stadium will be inaugurated ‘‘soon’’. ‘‘The basic structure is in place, we just need to finish the remaining. In fact, officials of the organizing committee have already started working from here,’’ said a senior DDA official. But with little being done on the large green tract of land within the complex and the slow progress of the security team, it looks like an uphill task.


Badminton and squash - TOTAL COST : - 329 Crore


Delhi Development Authority Squash court built by Messrs ASB of Germany at a cost of
3 crore

Design of new stadium is Australian with even court seats being imported from there

The glass of the show court was specially imported from Germany

The show court can be dismantled and re-erected anywhere


10 courts; 1 match court; special wooden flooring


3 practice courts and 5 match courts; special wooden flooring

Stadium has specialized aluminum acoustic ceiling


Squash: 4,200
Badminton: 5,000


30 in the squash stadium
50 in the badminton




Basement: 804 (not to be used during the Games);

Surface: 300 Temporary: 400


Rainwater harvesting, affluent treatment plant, solar pre-heat system, re-use of treated water for horticulture, windows with double-insulated glazing