Monday, June 28, 2010

Dug-up delhi: missing the point

Claims of the state administration and civic bodies notwithstanding, several prominent Commonwealth Games projects lag behind schedule and are likely to miss their deadlines. Newsline takes a look.

1. Connaught place

Developer: New Delhi Municipal Council

While NDMC will complete facade restoration work of all the blocks in CP, it has decided to stop work on the Middle Circle that remains completely dug up. It will be taken up and completed after the Games. Other work like underground service ducts, centralised air-conditioning system and construction of underground parking spaces will also be taken up after the Games.

2. Elevated Road on Barapullah Nallah

Developer: Public Works Department

The project, which will provide non-stop connectivity between the Ring Road near Sarai Kale Khan and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to over 10,000 players during the Games, missed its June 2009 deadline. The deadline was renewed to May 2010 and extended till mid-August. Work on two junctions on the corridor is yet to begin.

3. Rani Jhansi Road Grade separator

Developer: Municipal Corporation of Delhi

It took the MCD over 10 years to finally start work on the 1.7-km grade separator in September 2009. The civic agency says only a section of it will be ready for the Games, citing disputes over acquisition of land between various government authorities. The four-lane grade separator, to cost Rs 177 crore, will begin at Filmistan Cinema and extend till St Stephen’s Hospital, thus reducing the traffic chaos on the stretch.

4. Akshardham Flyover

Developer: Delhi Development Authority

The Akshardham Setu that will make NH-24 signal free was one of the first Games projects that succumbed to poor planning and delays. With an initial deadline of June 2009, the project will not see the light of the day before Games. The delay, officials say, was caused due to the late handing over of the land along the UP Link Road by the UP government. The DDA had also planned three cloverleaf flyovers and three slip roads to integrate them with the existing flyover.

5. U P Link road

Developer: Public Works Department

Once complete, the road will provide signal-free connectivity from the Games Village till Noida. With an initial deadline of June 2009, work on the Rs 334-crore project began only late last year. The new deadline was May 2010. Officials blamed the delay on the “tussle between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh governments over the 21-acre land used for the project”.

CWG: Delhi Police to replace unfit personnel in its PCR vans

Delhi Police is looking for young and agile staff to man its over 200 Police Control Room (PCR) vans ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
Officials say the department has decided to remove aged, overweight or unfit policemen from its 230 PCR vans.

Those selected will get training in spoken English and the soft skills required to assist foreign delegates and domestic visitors expected in the capital for the sporting extravaganza in October.

"We have decided to employ physically fit, young and agile men and women in PCR vans. The induction will be completed by mid-September," Additional Commissioner of Police (PCR) Kewal Singh told reporters.

He said these personnel would be given basic medical training to act in case of emergency.

The PCR vans are normally the first responders to all incidents and accidents where police help is sought. During the Games, these will be the public face of Delhi Police, hence the attempt to project a young and vibrant image.

"We have set aside 230 PCR vans which are in good condition (out of a total of 650-odd vans) for Games duty and will be equipping them with medical supplies and first-aid equipment," said Singh.

These vans will be deployed near large hotels, practice venues, Games sites and VIP routes.
"Elaborate security arrangements have been made, including trained commandos, snipers and security personnel for guarding athletes, Games venues and foreign delegates," said another Delhi Police official associated with Commonwealth Games security.

The XIX Commonwealth Games are scheduled here for October 3-14.

The baton is for everyone; Common men become proud batonbearers in the land of five rivers, Punjab

The Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi has travelled across the land of five rivers – Punjab. Common man got the chance to see, touch and feel the prized baton. From an old farmer in the vast farmlands of the state to its, traditional dancers and martial artists, everyone became the proud Batonbearer. They felt part of the mega-event to be organised in the national capital.

After completing its international leg of journey covering 170,000 kilometres, the baton entered India through the Wagah Border amidst a spectacular ceremony on 25 June 2010.

Next day, the baton left Amritsar (Khasa) Army Cantt for Jallandhar. At Jallandhar baton was welcomed at Hans Raj Maha Vidalya Jallandhar followed by a visit to CRPF divisional Headquarters and a battalion of ITBP. All senior officers of these forces along with other staff were present to greet the baton. Punjab Armed Police (PAP) Rama Mandi and Maharaja Ranjit Singh Police Academy, Phillaur were the next destinations where-in baton was received by retired and serving police officers. Batonbearers were applauded by garlands and bouquets; their creativity was visible in the way the relay was organised with mounted horses with Bhangra and Gidda performers dancing in front of the Batonbearers. This was the place where Maharaja Ranjit Singh built his magazine to ensure victory over Lahore, and the troops marched towards west to conquer his next destination.

The baton halted at Punjab Agriculture University Ludhiana, immediately after which there was tree plantation. Ms. Alka Lamba accompanied by baton crew planted medicinal plant’s saplings to boost the green revolution. In Ludhiana, the baton visited Bharat Nagar Chowk.

The baton’s next destination was Patiala where the baton was received by famous cricketer, commentator and MP Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu who later joined the relay at Patiala Polo Ground. The sport city had organised a fabulous relay where-in about 20 Arjuna Awardee participated. The relay ended at NIS (National Institute Sports) of Patiala. Here the baton was joined by the community of Patiala for a cultural show followed by dinner.

In Patiala, the prominent Batonbearers were, Mr. Bahadur Singh, Brig. Labh Singh, Mr. Garbax Singh Sanhu, Ms. Rupa Saini (Hockey), Mr. Jugraj Singh (Athletic), Mr. Satbir Singh, Capt. HDS Brar (Car Race), Sub. Sham Singh, Mr. Deepak Patiala, Wg. Cdr. Gurpreet Singh Cheema (Defance Flyer), Mr. Harveen Saroa (Shooting), Mr. Sukchain Sing Cheema (Wrestler), Ms. Sunita Devi (Athletic), Mr. Shudeep Singh (Athletics), Mr. Balkar Singh (Atheletics), Mr. Variender Singh (Boxing), Mr. Gurmukh Singh Sandhu (Wrestling), Mr. Ram Singh (Boxing), Mr. Palwinder Singh Cheema, Mr. Gaganjit Singh, Mr. Shamsher Singh Bhoparai (Volley Ball), Mr. Satnam Sing Maan (Cycling), Mr. Sandeep Kaur (Hockey) and Mr. Jagmohan Singh (Athletic).

On 27 June 2010, the baton visited Pathankot in north Punjab. The baton is heading towards Kashmir Valley via Jammu.

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