Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rain hits Games work, TT stadium delayed by 1 month

Monday's downpour in the capital may well cause international embarrassment to Delhi. Top Delhi Development Authority officials admit that the Yamuna sports complex, scheduled to hold the table tennis event of the Commonwealth Games, would now be completed only by the first week of September instead of August 1, partly because a section of the false ceiling at the stadium shockingly collapsed due to rainwater accumulation.

That doesn't leave enough time for the crucial overlay work to be completed by the Games' inauguration, unless it's started before the venue is totally ready. Officials said the time taken to reconstruct the false ceiling -- an estimated fortnight or longer -- has added to the delay.

Said a senior DDA official, "The handover date has been fixed as August 1, which will not be an issue as far as the Commonwealth Games Village is concerned. But work at both Siri Fort and Yamuna sports complex (YSC) will take longer, with lock-down expected to be September 3."

While leaks were detected at Siri Fort during the rain, a section of the false ceiling at the Yamuna sport complex came down due to accumulation of rainwater. Officials admitted that repair work at the Yamuna sports complex would take time especially as a part of the ceiling had to be taken down. Said the official, "Since the roof design is complicated, the work is time consuming. Besides the ceiling, there are other areas which also need to be wrapped up."
However, senior officials in DDA claim despite the delay caused due to the ceiling collapse at YSC and the leak at the Siri Fort complex, work will be finished in time. Said Veena Ish, principal commissioner (CWG), "The work should be completed soon. Handover will take place as scheduled."

A visit to the two venues, however, made DDA's optimism appear suspect. While debris continues to be spread all around the venues, work is still going on at both places. The approach roads are yet to be finished while landscaping work hasn't even got off the ground. The prospect of more showers like Monday's loom large over construction work at both sites.

DDA meanwhile admitted on Wednesday that "due to the heavy downpour, rainwater gutters provided for roof drainage overflowed resulting in seepage of water and some damage to the false ceiling at few locations." However, it claimed that no damage was reported "except uplifting of maple wood flooring at few places and a few electrical installations".

Officials from the organizing committee meanwhile tried to play down the incident. Said Lalit Bhanot, spokesperson for the OC, "Since overlay work has already started, the delay will not be a problem. Moreover, we have been assured that the handover will take place as scheduled on August 1."

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