Sunday, March 14, 2010

2,709 theme-based flats for CWG

They could turn out to be the Delhi Development Authority's fanciest flats ever.With six months left to the Commonwealth Games, India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has finally unveiled the 2,709 DDA flats that will be opened up to delegates and tourists alike in Vasant Kunj's D-6 pocket.

From the latest gadgets like LCD television screens, ACs and other household accoutrements to artefacts and handicrafts gracing each room, these Games flats promise to be a pan-India insight into the country's art and heritage.

Divided into five blocks named after rivers Sindhu, Ganga, Narmada, Brahmaputra and Kaveri each block will reflect a region in which the river flows. And to emphasize the heritage of that region, the flats in the block will house handicrafts, paintings and other works of art from the area.

That's not all. While the furniture in the rooms has been sourced from China and Malaysia besides India, the design of the flats has been altered so as to give a world-class feel, said sources. Said a senior ITDC official, "DDA was asked to make several structural changes in the flat layout, so that the overall effect was pleasing besides being utilitarian.''

As part of the changes, DDA has not only built lifts and put in intercom facilities in the blocks but also given plaster of Paris (POP) finish to all rooms, put in vitrified floor tiles, latest bathroom fittings and accessories, wardrobes with full length mirrors and the works. Added the official, "The flats will be run as hotel rooms and will have kettle and fridge for the guests. For food, guests can avail the services of the three food courts which will also be run 24X7 by ITDC during the Games.''

The best news for Delhiites though is that these flats will be sold with the accompanying gadgets, furniture and artwork once the Games are over. Sources said the cost of the household amenities would be factored into the total cost of the flat.

According to ITDC sources, the artwork has been bought from Cottage Industries, which in turn sourced them from artisans from all corners of the country. "From Madhubani paintings to sculptures from the Northeast, every handicraft tradition has been tapped as decoration for the flats,'' said the official. Besides the artwork on the walls within the flats, there will also be murals in the common area of the blocks, which would reflect a region. The budget for the decoration and furnishing was around Rs 50 crore, added officials, with the total cost of the flats coming to Rs 250 crore.

These flats, which will be available from September onwards, are expected to be the base for delegates coming for the Commonwealth Games as well as for tourists. While prices have been kept reasonable between Rs 3,000-5,000 ITDC is hoping that the rooms would be booked much before the Games start. Added the official, "We are offering deals to those who do bulk booking. For instance, while a single AC room would cost Rs 4,000 per day, the entire three-bedroom flat would be for only Rs 10,000 daily.'' There are also 800-odd non-AC flats available, which would cost Rs 3,000 per room. Bookings are available through both the ITDC website as well as the Organising Committee's Games Travel Office.

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