Sunday, August 1, 2010

EXPOSED: Main Venues are not Ready

From the outside, Karni Singh Shooting Range one of the venues of Commonwealth Games looks like a fortress complete with very high stone walls, recently extended with more stones, and glistening barbed wire. Inside, it’s a chaotic construction site with mounds of earth and paving stones dotting the area. The armed CISF men though give away the fact that this is not just any construction site but the venue for a world class event that is due to start in less than 70 days.

Given the present state of complete unprepared ness with even the entry points being kuccha tracks, it is difficult to imagine that this venue had in February hosted a test event. Just after one enters from Gate No. 2, having braved a long grilling session by the CISF who make it clear that the area is out of bounds, specifically for the media there is a pile of bricks and a splotch of blue paint, signs that the venue is still many days away from completion.

No wonder that Sports Authority of India, whose property the range is, chose to cordon off or block from sight most of the ground leading to the shooting ranges during the test event.

Both sides of the concrete paths leading to the four main ranges are completely dug up with parts of cables and pipes sticking out here and there. Intermittently, there are massive holes in the ground, waiting for the trees that will be planted for landscaping and beautification purposes.

When you enter from Gate No. 3, the scene inside is even worse with guards sitting on heaps of earth chewing tobacco.

Obviously, security is not an issue when workers get hired here. A labourer working at the site claimed he had been approached by the local thekedar and had been working at Karni Singh for the past month. ‘‘They picked me from the main road a month ago, and I have been working here ever since,’’ he said. According to him, there was a lot left to be done at the venue. It will take at least one month to clear the area of all the rubble and plant the trees.

The only part of the scene which looks complete and therefore strikes a discordant note with the rest of the landscape is the array of green boards with Shera on them. Earth movers move in and out of the complex while paving stones are stacked here and there, waiting for the premises to reach a stage where they could be used.

Work is also going on at a furious pace along the approach road to the range. Bulldozers can be seen planting trees along the Suraj Kund road, a forest area. Ironically, local MCD workers say there isn’t much space left to plant more trees.

Says a worker, Nau Bahar, ‘‘I have orders to plant 250 trees on this road but as you can see there is no space for that kind of growth.’’ So, old trees will have to make way for new ones.

Outside the range, the long and winding road to Faridabad is a unique sight. Both sides have been paved to resemble a footpath but there is no variation of level. Why the paving then? The paving tiles are breaking down under the weight of the bulldozer which is assigned to dig up the ground to plant more unnecessary trees.

Some distance off, the parking which will house some 1,000-odd cars is still a green field. The supervisor sitting in the shade of a tree says work started a fortnight back and will be ready by August 15. One cannot help wonder how.


Dev said...

I think
Rahul Gandhi should take responsibility of commonwealth games of delhi..
As Mr.Rajiv gandhi and indira Gandhi did in the 1983 Asiad Games..
this is Big Chance for india to show our power to the world..
hope not, If these games are not successfull the whole world will make laugh of our india..

sudeep said...

not only the venues are incomplete the torrential rains have exposed the the poor quality of work. The safety of the buildings is in doubt.