Saturday, June 26, 2010

Stay home during Games or face traffic jams, says top cop

Get ready to face massive traffic jams during the 12 days Delhi will host the Commonwealth Games in October this year.

The city police chief on Saturday said traffic jams seemed to be “unavoidable” during the Games as a section of some of the arterial roads would be closed for the movement of vehicles carrying players and delegates.

“There will be jams during the Games and Delhiites should prepare for them. They can either change their plans or avoid travelling on those routes to spare themselves the inconvenience. Or, better they can stay at home,” said Y.S. Dadwal, commissioner of police.

With 99 days to go for the Games, Dadwal reviewed the security arrangements at Dhyanchand National Stadium and Talkatora Stadium.

For the Games, a section on all the routes leading to the Games village, stadia and hotels will be closed. Some of the roads that will be affected are Sardar Patel Marg, the India Gate roundabout, Mother Teresa Crescent and Panchsheel Marg.

Will provide foolproof security for Commonwealth Games

Delhi Police Commissioner reviewed the security set up at Major Dhyan Chand and Talkatora stadiums

Ninety-nine days before the Commonwealth Games begins, the Delhi Police showcased its plans for the security of the mega sporting event.

At the first demonstration of the security arrangements, Delhi Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal reviewed the security set up at Major Dhyan Chand and Talkatora stadiums on Saturday. The Delhi Police commandos, who are also being trained at the National Security Guards training campus in Manesar, have been stationed at the two stadiums so that they could get familiar with the demographics.

The force that would ensure the security during the Games includes: Delhi Police commandos and personnel, paramilitary personnel and NSG commandos. According to the Delhi Police chief, the personnel will be trained to handle any situation or security breach.

According to officials, there will be close to 1,000 police officers and central paramilitary force officials apart from NSG commandos at strategic locations at each Games venue — 60 to 70 of these will be Delhi Police commandos.

Dadwal checked the placement of the CCTV cameras and entry and exit points of VVIPs, athletes and audience.

“Everything is in place. We will provide foolproof security. I will be personally monitoring the whole security situation during the Games and we have all the coordination from the Organising Committee and government,” he said.

Over 30,000 officials of the Delhi Police, 65 companies of paramilitary forces and hundreds of of cameras have been put in place at the Games venues. Each venue has a ‘venue commander’ of additional commissioner rank.

“The Hockey World Cup (held early this year at the Major Dhyan Chand) went great under the supervision of Additional Commissioner R S Krishnia. Every senior officer including joint commissioners and special commissioners would be part of the security arrangements,” said Dadwal.

Stating that officials would be deployed outside the boundary line in the grounds in track suits, Dadwal added there will be air-surveillance of the venues. He, however, did not comment on if air-surveillance of Major Dhyan Chand stadium would be possible because of its proximity to India Gate.

To ensure a streamlined traffic management, exclusive lanes have been chalked out for Games vehicles. These exclusive lanes will connect event venues, hotels, the Games Village, practice venues and other important places. “Along the routes, there will be anti-sabotage teams, Quick Response Teams, commandos, ambulances, uniformed personnel and snipers on rooftops. Buses carrying athletes will have armed personnel besides armed escort vehicles,” said a senior police officer.

The security apparatus at the stadiums would include three-meter perimeter wall along with 1.5 meter iron grills, CCTV surveillance, Quick Response Teams and teams to battle chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear explosives. For vehicles, there will be radio frequency identification, under vehicle scanners, boom barriers and ‘tyre killers’.

The individuals entering the stadiums would be checked by door-frame metal detectors, hand-held metal detectors and X-Ray scanners. They would also have bar-coded passes and IDs. The security personnel and private security guards on duty at venues have been given non-clonnable identity cards, said the officer. There are also plans to get one ‘cargo scanner’ to check trucks without opening the doors.

Also, the Delhi Police has set up a Central Command Control Center at its headquarters.

Delhi Commonwealth Games to power sports management

It’s less than a 100-day sprint to the Commonwealth Games 2010, and the charged atmosphere at the plush office of the Games Organising Committee near New Delhi’s iconic Jantar Mantar is palpable.

An army of young, enthusiastic Indian graduates, some MBAs, some just plain university grads, some with experience in sports management and many with a passion for sports, are brushing shoulders with around 70 foreign experts in what’s perhaps the biggest team event of the Games.

For the last two years, many of these young men and women have been pouring in on power point presentations, charts, diagrams and designs to create the backbone of the Commonwealth Games. If the Games go through well, they know, India will get to host more such big sporting events and sports managers will be in vogue.

The prospects are huge. Apart from the Commonwealth Games, there are a number of other sports properties which are planned in India in the near future. Up next is the ICC World Cup cricket next year, the Formula One, the Chennai Open and Sunfeast Open tennis tournaments and a few golf tournaments.

Needless to say, managing logistics, marketing, catering, ceremonies, crowd, ticketing, media, among others, will be big challenges in the future and like everywhere else in the world, young professionals with the right skillsets will get to play their part.

Consider the Indian Premier League for instance. Even those with grudges against Lalit Modi will admit that holding such an extravaganza wasn’t child’s play. Indeed, Mr Modi’s IPL had to look outside India, and finally hired IMG, to manage the show. Even team owners have had their share of problems finding the right sports managers. They have either hired former sportsmen or deputed senior executives of group companies to run the show.

“It is not necessary that these people will become good sports managers. Most do not have the kind of exposure we are looking for. But then, where are the specialists?” says Rakesh Singh, head-marketing at India Cements, which owns the Chennai Super Kings IPL team.

India Cements is in the process of creating a professional organisation around IPL, which will have 12 different verticals including commercials, sponsorship selling, logistics, player management, new player development and merchandising among others. For these verticals, they are looking for trained manpower. “We may get skilled manpower after the games,” he agrees.

For the sports professionals, however, the prospects are global. Rajan Kumar (name changed on request), an MBA, who works with the transport vertical within the OC says he has already applied to work with the London Olympic Games. “I am also about to begin approaching sports marketing firms for a job,” he says.

Mr Kumar has been at the OC for a year and a half now and says he has been trained about pitching, sourcing, planning, operations, execution, problem solving, crisis management during his stint here. “We look at minute details of sporting events, which is rare in this country.” The OC has hired 70 international experts who are working as consultants. The next big sporting event in India should see just one-tenth of this number of experts, says the official. Even other Asian nations organising big sporting events will want to use this talent as these Indian experts will definitely be less expensive than their western counterparts. The OC is spending close to Rs 100 crore a year on these 70 international experts.

To solve the problem, institutes like the International Institute of Sports Management (IISM) are being set up to train future sports marketing and management professionals. The Mumbai-based institute will run the programme in association with Jai Hind College and has experts like Ravi Shastri, Mahesh Bhupati and many others from the industry on its advisory board.

The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad too is introducing a course on Professional Management of Sports Organisation (PMSO) this year. “With the Commonwealth Games in Delhi this year and the popularity of Indian Premier League (IPL), sports management is emerging as a new field,” says IIM-A director Samir Barua.

Ex-cricketer Nilesh Kulkarni, who is a director at Eduhub Education which runs IISM says there is a huge demand for talent from the sports industry. “There is not enough training available for sports marketing in India. Most people learn on the job,” he says. The institute has training tie-ups with large sports marketing and management firms such as Globosport, Procam International, PMG and Percept D’Mark.

Mr Kulkarni points out that while some of the larger firms have got the talent, tier-II and tier-III companies have a huge shortage of talent. “India has had many single sport events, which are large but are very specific but has not had much exposure to the complexity of multi-sports events,” says Harish Krishnamachari, vice-president of sports marketing firm World Sports Group. With the games in Delhi he feels the country will get talent in the event execution space for sure but not so much in the event sponsorship space. Over the years WSG has built up people from scratch, training them in-house. “I would certainly like to see this new trained lot,” he says.

Chandigarh 'runs' for Commonwealth Games

Over a thousand people, including a toddler and a septuaganarian participated as the City Beautiful today celebrated the arrival of the Queen's Baton in India with its own mini event called the Commonwealth Games Run.

In the run, flagged off early in the morning from the Sukhna Lake by UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas, the youngest runner was of 1.6 years of age while and the oldest was 78-year-old.

The event ended at the Bougainvillea Garden, completing the 2.5-km distance along the Sukhna Lake Road.

With the 100-day countdown to the Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010 having begun, the focus clearly shifted from cricket, Bollywood and politics to sports as the famous and the unknown, athletes and the stodgy, chefs and scientists, live-wires and the elderly, civilians and the men in uniform, all rose as one.

The first three positions were taken by the CRPF with Hari Shankar Sharma bagging the 1st position. Vikas Kumar and Ashok Kumar came 1st and 2nd runners up respectively and were given cash prizes worth Rs 10,000.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ram Niwas hailed the effort of the organisers, leading Ayurvedic diabetes drug Fenfuro, and stressed the role of every citizen to be a perfect host in making the international event a success.

The event was made a success by the keen participation of the members of CRPF, ITBP, NCC, IMA, Bharti Walmart, Desh Bhagat colleges, Verka and Chandigarh Traders, to name a few.

The participants were offered health drinks and refreshments at the Bougainvillea Garden.

Book on Delhi Metro released to help tourists during CWG

In an effort to make commuting in the capital more convenient, especially for tourists, ahead of Commonwealth Games, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today released a guide book on Delhi Metro.

The book written by Dr M Ramachandaran, Secretary, Union Ministry of Urban Development and Chairman, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC), gives station-wise details of interest to the metro users. ''The Delhi Metro has changed the travelling scenario in the city altogether. With the network's commencement, problems of pollution, congestion on roads, time wastage and cleanliness have been contained,'' the Chief Minister said while addressing mediapersons. The book titled 'Delhi Metro Stations and Surroundings' provides details of 143 stations with their classification, commencement date, location, facilities available, frequency of train services, availability of parking and footfalls received at the station.

The books, released earlier, have been of great help to the youth of the capital, especially the college students, who are now able to reach their classes and movie shows on time, she quipped. The Chief Minister expressed pleasure on the book as it also gives information on other modes of transport in the city.

''Many of us do not know which bus to catch from which Metro station to reach our destination. It has all the information about the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus stands,'' she said.

The book would also give one an insight into the locality in which the station is situated with landmarks nearby viz educational institutions, religious places, sports centres, health institutions, places of historical and tourist interest, among others.

Referring to the Delhi Metro's expanding network, the Chief Minister said soon it will cover 190-km-long route and it is bound to become the life-line of the city after completion of Phase III and Phase IV when its total network length will be around 414 km. Express Airport Line and other routes will prove to be very helpful during Commonwealth Games, she added.

DMRC Managing Director E Sreedharan, who was present on the occasion, described Dr Ramachandaran's tenure as Chairman of DMRC as a Golden Era of the Delhi Metro. Dr Ramachandaran expressed confidence that the book, priced at Rs 100, will become a valuable guide to Metro users and visitors.

''The book is also a great source of knowledge for people who do not know the meaning of terms like gauge over which they travel daily,'' he said.

The book will be available at all Metro stations in a week's time. ''Interested readers will be able to avail the book from the Station Managers,'' DMRC chief PRO Anuj Dayal told UNI.

Queen’s Baton to reach Chandigarh July 1

The Queen’s Baton for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, earlier scheduled to reach Chandigarh July 3, will now arrive here July 1, an official said Saturday.

“The baton will reach Chandigarh July 1 from Jammu. It will stay here for three days before leaving for Una in Himachal Pradesh,” Superintendent of Police H.S. Doon told reporters.

The baton arrived in India Friday from Pakistan via the land border.

CM dismisses Aiyar's remarks; wants people to be proud of CWG

Reacting to Party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar calling Commonwealth Games an ''enormous waste of money'', Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit here today said she wanted people to be proud of the Games.

Mr Aiyar had reportedly said that he was Sports Minister till 2008 and had wanted the government not to go for the Games as it was an ''enormous waste of money'' and termed the way India had bagged the Games as ''tamasha''.

''The state of people living in the colonies right opposite the Games site (on the banks of Yamuna in India) will remain the same,'' the Former Union Minister had said.

Reacting to the comment, Ms Dikshit said, ''there is all round development in Delhi. It is not restricted to any area.'' Citing an example, she said, ''Metro is going to areas like Seelampur. It is not correct to say that development is taking place only in few areas.'' Mr Aiyar had also said, ''The government does not have enough money for social development programmes but has sanctioned Rs 7,000 crore for hosting the Commonwealth Games just to improve Indias image internationally.'' Talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the inauguration of a waste management plant of Jindal Ecopolis here, Ms Dikshit said, ''CWG are only 100 days away. I would like people to be proud of the Games.''

Commonwealth Games 2010: Sporting Events Calendar

The CWG opening Ceremony will be held in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 and closing ceremony will be held in same stadium on October 14, 2010. All Central Government and Delhi Governments offices, Schools, Private and Government institutions etc. will remain closed on October 14, 2010.

Calendar for all events: All events will be held in Delhi and except cycling event will be held in NCR Noida Highway Express.

Event                                       Venue                             Date

Wrestling                              IG Sports Complex                        5-10 October 2010

Weightlifting                         JN Sports Complex                         4-12 October 2010

Tennis                               RK Khanna Tennis Stadium                4-10 October 2010

Table Tennis                         Yamuna Sports Complex                  4-14 October 2010

Squash                              Siri Fort Sports Complex                       4-13 October 2010

a) Clay Target                    Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range             6-13 October 2010
b) Full Bore                       CRPF Campus, Kadarpur                     9-13 October 2010
c) Pistol & Small Bore         Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range              5-13 October 2010

Rugby                               Sevens Delhi University                     11-12 October 2010

Netball                          Thyagaraj Sports Complex                    4-12 & 14 October 2010

Lawn Bowls                         JN Sports Complex                             4-13 October 2010

Hockey                  Maj. Dhyan Chand National Stadium                               4-14 October 2010

a) Artistic                        IG Sports Complex                         4-8 October 2010
b) Rhythmic                        IG Sports Complex                              12-14 October 2010

a) Track                           IG Sports Complex                             5-8 October 2010
b) Road Mass                     Start India Gate                               10 October 2010
c) Road time Trials            Noida Highway Express                          13 October 2010

Boxing                                 Talkatora Indoor Stadium              5-11, 13 October 2010

Badminton                           Siri Fort Sports Complex                    4-14 October 2010

a) Track & Field                  JN Stadium                                    6-12 October 2010
b) Marathon                         JN Statdium/Marathon Course                14 October 2010
c) Walk                                India Gate                                              09 October 2010

Archery                                  Yamuna Sports Complex/                4-10 October 2010

a) Diving                             Dr SPM Swimming Complex                10-13 October 2010
b) Swimming                      Dr SPM Swimming Complex                04-09 October 2010
c) Synchronised                 Dr SPM Swimming Complex                   06-07 October 2010

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