Wednesday, June 9, 2010

CP renovation to take longer

Shoppers tired of walking through the dug-up streets and lanes of Connaught Place in the heart of the Capital will have to wait a little longer as major sections of the ambitious Rs.671-crore re-development project of the New Delhi Municipal Council would be completed only by this July/August.

The rest of the work will be undertaken after the Commonwealth Games in October.

While facade restoration is being undertaken in 10 blocks of CP, simultaneous work is on for refurbishment and improvement of parking lots along with construction of four new subways on Barakhamba Road and Panchkuian Road.

As traffic clearance has been granted for only a section of the roads where these subways are being constructed, the civic body is undertaking work on only one-third portion of the subway at a time.

“The traffic police needed space to ensure traffic movement on the roads where we are constructing the subways, so we are working on only one-third portion at a time. We would be opening the first one-third portion of all four subways by June end providing relief to pedestrians. The rest would be taken up subsequently,” says an NDMC official.

“The subways would be completed by August or September and the parking by August, while the façade restoration work would be finished by June-end or July. Parking improvements have been completed in Blocks C and D and work in Blocks E and F is going on at present. These improvements include laying of new flooring in the existing parking spaces due to which parking space may increase or decrease in some stretches,” he added.

Commenting on reasons for the delay, the NDMC official said: “After chipping the plaster off several blocks for façade restoration we found that there was no concrete structure left on the pillars and columns to support the building, so we had to begin re-constructing entire columns and pillars. This retrofitting process would cause a delay of another 15 to 20 days. Other than that there are no stumbling blocks as of now.”

Meanwhile, work for construction of the underground services tunnel in the Middle Circle, where ducting of all electricity and water lines would be done, is under way in Blocks A, B, E and F but would be completed only after the Games is over. Similarly, the setting up of a centralised air-conditioning plant in CP will also be taken up after the Games because of paucity of time.

“The services ducting work in Blocks C and D would be completed after the Games as we got official clearances for it at a later date and also because we thought it not fit to block all strategic points in CP at one time. The air-conditioning plant too will be taken up after the Games,” the official said.

With massive road stretches dug up for the works and tedious traffic diversions in place for pedestrians and commuters alike, further problems of water-logging and traffic jams during the upcoming monsoon season are anticipated in the area. However, the civic body claims it has made arrangements to tackle any crisis.

“We are aware of the problems that might take place and have made arrangements for pumping machines to flush out excess water that might accumulate at strategic points. At other places care has been taken to keep the existing drainage pipelines intact to do their job when it rains. So we are not expecting any major problems in CP during the monsoon,” the official added.

City firm to supply LED screens for Commonwealth Games

City-based MIC Electronics Limited, through a press note on Wednesday, announced that it has bagged the order to supply LED screens for Commonwealth Games. The games are slated to be held in New Delhi from October 3 to 14.

A total of 19 LED screens will be installed at the stadiums. 12 of these screens will be of 600 square feet in area, while the other screens would be of 150 square feet, the note added.

India next stop for Sevens rugby

World champions Wales, IRB Sevens World Series champions Samoa and defending champions New Zealand will line up at the Commonwealth Games sevens tournament in Delhi this October.

Hosts India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, England, Scotland, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Canada and Guyana complete the line-up for the 16-team tournament, which will be held on October 11 and 12.

The sport was granted Olympic status a year ago at an International Olympic Committee session in Copenhagen and this tournament will mark its first appearance at a multi-sport international event since that decision.

Australian delegates visit Commonwealth Games headquarters

Australia's first Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Gillian Bird today visited the Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 headquarters here.

Ms Bird, who is also the Deputy Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia, was accompanied by a group of delegates.

She expressed pleasure to look forward to participate in a very successful Commonwealth Games in Delhi. ''We appreciate the comprehensive briefing given to us by the officials which only point towards a highly successful Commonwealth Games due later this year,'' Ms Bird said.

CWG media comm takes stock of media centre preparedness

The Delhi Commonwealth Games media committee met at the OC headquarters and took a stock of the progress made by the organisers in the construction of the media centre at the Pragati Maidan here for the October 3-14 megaevent.

The meeting was attended by senior journalists Rahul Singh, Raminder Singh, former media advisor to the Prime Minister Rammohan Rao, Member of Parliament Trilochan Singh, SPS Dhillon (Jt Director of Orgainsing Committee) among others.

During the meeting the members discussed in detail the progress made by the Organising Committee (OC) in setting up the media centre which will cater to over 2,000 Indian and 500 foreign journalists, according to Jagmohan Bhanot, Officer on Special Duty Commonwealth Games.

Delhi street vendors to move court against eviction

Street vendors in the capital plan to approach the Supreme Court against the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) eviction drive targeted at illegal hawkers ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), an association of street vendors, which has over 300,000 members in 20 states, accused the MCD of evicting roadside hawkers without formulating a policy.

‘Instead of taking concrete steps to formulate a proper policy for urban street vendors or issuing licences to hawkers, they are evicting them from various city markets,’ Mukut Sarma, programme manager of NASVI told IANS.

As part of the MCD’s drive in west Delhi, around 150 vendors were evicted from Uttam Nagar bus terminal and 70 vendors were evicted from Janakpuri recently. Over 200 vendors who had put up stalls near the Delhi railway station were also evicted.

Vendors from west Delhi’s Manglapuri vegetable market, and those operating from close to east Delhi’s Jeevan Anmol Hospital and Mayur Vihar have also complained of harassment by police and seizure of goods, Sarma said.

‘We have no other option, except to knock the doors of the Supreme Court, as there is an urgent need to stop the atrocities against vendors and to find lasting solutions to their problems,’ Sarma added.

Arbind Singh, coordinator of NASVI, said: ‘NASVI had a series of interactions with the MCD (12 meetings between March 2009 and May 2010) on the issue of resettlement of street vendors in the capital but nothing worthwhile happened.’

‘All our efforts have gone in vain as the commissioner of MCD has stated that all vendors in the city will be evicted before the commencement of the Commonwealth Games’ Singh informed.

The vendors have been demanding that the civic authorities should specify vending and no-vending zones, legalize all the weekly markets, stop illegal evictions and stop imposition of fines.

NASVI members staged a protest at the MCD headquarters here June 1 accusing the civic agency of not formulating and implementing a proper policy for urban street hawkers.

CWG projects will be completed by June end: Minister

All Commonwealth Games projects will be completed by the end of this month, Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said here Wednesday.

Reddy, who is also the chairman of the Group of Ministers that is overseeing the preparations for the Games, said that the projects are on track and will be completed on time.

‘I am the chairman of the Group of Ministers on Commonwealth Games and I can say with confidence that all projects related to the Games will completed by June end,’ Reddy said on the sidelines of an event in the capital.

The Commonwealth Games are scheduled to take place in the capital October 3-14.

Railways to launch special train to promote CWG

A special exhibition train will promote Commonwealth Games across the country and is likely to be flagged-off from New Delhi by the month end.

Railway Ministry officials say the train will travel to each state and have stoppages at selected stations across 16 zones in the country.

The colourful train carrying detailed exhibits of Commonwealth Games and use of information technology in Railways will be a special attraction for the people.

Besides, the Railways will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Commonwealth Games Organising Committee in this regard.

The train will be painted with the Commonwealth Games logo along with that of Indian Railways.

Indian Railways is a lead partner for the Commonwealth Games scheduled here between 3rd-14th October.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, an enterprise under Railway Board has already been chosen to sell Games tickets. (SS-09/06)

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