Saturday, September 25, 2010

Now Indian Army to Save Games

When all systems fail, call in the Army. With time running out, a desperate Delhi government has now asked the Army to build a foot over bridge outside the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in place of the one that collapsed on Tuesday. The bridge will facilitate movement of spectators.

The move came after officials responsible for securing the stadium found that an alternative movement plan for spectators would pose a security risk.

Top Delhi government officials said the Army plans to begin work immediately and is expected to deliver the bridge within five days. ‘‘This will be a Bailey bridge,’’ chief secretary Rakesh Mehta told an English News Daily. A bailey bridge is a prefabricated truss structure used by the military to bridge gaps. The new bridge will not be as fancy as the one that fell, but will be built at a fraction of the original cost. Rs 5 crore was being spent on the suspension bridge that collapsed.

The PWD has been asked to complete the second foot over bridge that will also take spectators into the stadium. This structure will be completed before the Games by PWD, which claims material is ready and it will be possible to finish work in time.

Army sources confirmed military engineers had been asked to build the bridge following a request from the Delhi chief secretary. Some of the equipment had already been moved to the site, they added.

As the entire Delhi Government machinery swung into action to execute a belated salvage operation at the Games Village, by afternoon it was evident that a replacement for the collapsed foot over bridge at JLN stadium would be necessary. Earlier, the government and the traffic police had proposed an alternative plan for movement of spectators who were supposed to use the FOB.

According to top sources, under the alternative plan, spectators would have had to walk an extra kilometer to enter the stadium. Thus a meeting was held with the Army representatives on Friday where the modalities of building a bridge were discussed. Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta said, ‘‘For now, they have agreed to make one bridge.’’

The Army had earlier been requested to construct a temporary iron bridge to link another Games venue, the Siri Fort complex. This bridge was built at a cost of Rs 80 lakh.


England’s first batch of 22 athletes arrives, will stay in hotels till Village blocks ready
Kiwi cyclist Greg Henderson pulls out. But NZ to come following green signal by Olympic Committee. PM John Key says it would be heart-breaking for athletes if they couldn’t go CGF chief Mike Fennell says “considerable improvements” at Village. Delhi Govt. says clean-up will be completed by Saturday morning Australia’s Olympic Committee chief John Coates says Games should never have come to India. But CWG chief Perry Crosswhite gives Village a “thumbs up” Cong spokesman Manish Tewari says no one should have been given opportunity to point fingers, but also blames “foreign stereotype” of India