Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mosquitoes breeding at 7 CWG sites, notices issued

In what could probably be a cause of worry for the Delhi government, the local civic body has found mosquitoes breeding at seven Commonwealth Games sites. It has issued notices to the officials concerned.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) collected samples from various Games sites and found larvae breeding at Commonwealth Games village near Akshardham, Yamuna sports complex, Yamuna Sports Training Centre, DDA sports complex Saket, Hans Raj College, R.K. Khanna Stadium and Indira Gandhi Stadium.

"Despite repeated warnings from the MCD, the Games Organising Committee has been careless. There is gross negligence on the part of the organisers and the whole city will suffer due to it," V.K. Monga, MCD health committee chairman, told IANS.

Notices have been issued to the officials concerned, he added.

There has been an increase in the number of dengue cases this year. At least 121 people have tested positive for the vector-borne disease in the city till Aug 9, as against 10 cases reported till the same date last year.

According to the civic body, the worst situation is at the Games village site where stagnant water
in the basements is leading to mosquitoes breeding.

According to the MCD, the number of dengue cases was 1,312 in 2008 and two deaths were reported.

In 2009, the number was 1,153, with three deaths. In 2010, the number of cases so far is 121 and a person has died due to the disease.

"The number of dengue cases will double, compared to the last two years. The conditions are favourable for breeding of mosquitoes as the city is filled with pot holes and pits due to the ongoing construction activity," Monga said.

Some of the participating countries have already raised concern over increasing dengue cases in the capital.

CWG: Sports Minister complains of lack of power

Sports and Youth Affairs Minister M S Gill today complained of the lack of power in the hand of his Ministry in organising the Commonwealth Games, but still sought to assure the nation that all work relating to the Games would be finished next month.

Replying to a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the delay in the preparations for the Commonwealth Games, he admitted that there had been delay in constructing the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium and other stadia and related infrastructure
but said the venues were now ready and delay would not affect the performance of the players.

Dr Gill sought to underline that when the Asian Games were held in Delhi in 1982 there was unity of command with Rajiv Gandhi at the top, but today things were very different.

He said that as per the agreement signed with the Commonwealth Games Federation, all powers vested in the Organising Committee of the Indian
Olympic Association, while the Government had only been entrusted with the obligation of bearing all the expenditure on infrastructure and meet all the deficits at the end of the Games.

The profit, if any, is to be shared by the Organising Committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation, he said.

The Minister asserted that despite all odds, the stadia constructed were all very good and work on all other constructions was going on a very fast pace.

At this juncture, the Minister was interrupted by JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and others who wanted him to come straight to replying the concerns of the Members regarding the charges of massive corruption in the works of the Games.

Dr Gill said he would reply to all their queries, but for that Members had to listen to him with patience.

Delhi launches eco-friendly rickshaw ahead of Games

Delhi today launched battery- operated rickshaws, sponsored by telecom major Vodafone Essar as part its eco-friendly initiative, ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit flagged off the eco friendly vehicle, E-rick, each costing about Rs 1.5 lakh.

In the first phase, the company will sponsor 25 vehicles on five routes, including Chandni Chowk, Saket, IIT-SDA market area, GK-II and Delhi University-North Campus, Vodafone told reporters here.

However, the company did not give the number of vehicles it would most probably increase during the Commonwealth Games to be held here in October this year.

"There is a need for collaborative efforts to make Delhi a pollution-free zone. We have always been conscious about environmental issues and hence are supportive of such initiative which would help ensure a healthier and greener city," Dikshit said.

E-rick is powered by batteries, aims to ensure reduction in carbon footprint with zero emission. This technology will reduce the dependence on conventional fuel, the company said.

"This initiative is a step forward in promoting green transportation for a cleaner and greener environment in the capital," Vodafone Essar-Delhi, CEO Sanjay Warke said.

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