Monday, August 30, 2010

Special cover on Queen's Baton relay released

A special cover was released here yesterday to commemorate Queen's Baton Relay for the upcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi.

This was a sequel to a set of two commemorative postage stamps issued by the Postal department when the Queen's Baton arrived in the country crossing the Wagah border, an official release said today.

The Postal department had taken a decision to release special cover on which these two commemorative stamps would be affixed, in all those 34 places through which the Queen's Baton would be passing through.

At the end of the run of the Queen's Baton, an album will be prepared with all the 34 special covers with the commemorative stamps affixed on it, which would be displayed at the venues of the Commonwealth Games to be held from October 3 to 14.

1,900 new buses to drive in for CWG

Delhiites will witness around 1,900 new buses making their debut on city roads during the Commonwealth Games. The vehicles will be brought in to ensure hassle-free transportation for athletes, officials and spectators during the mega-event from October 3 to 14.

Of these, a fleet of 600 air-conditioned low-floor buses to be provided by Tata Motors would be dedicated to ferrying sportsmen, media personnel and technicians.

While 349 buses would be used to ferry athletes during the Games, including the days of the opening and closing ceremonies on 25 routes identified for the purpose, 225 would be used by mediapersons and technical officials. “The remaining 26 buses will kept on standby for usage in cases of any emergency such as sudden breakdowns, etc. Transportation is going to be the backbone of the Games, and we are committed to providing the best facilities to athletes and commuters,” a senior Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) official told Newsline.

In a major thumbs-up for the DTC, which has been given the responsibility of ensuring a smooth ride for participants by the organising committee, the Supreme Court also permitted them to de-activate speed governors in 600 buses recently.

Standing Counsel for the Delhi government Najmi

Waziri had, on the last date of hearing in the High Court regarding the Blueline phase-out, informed the apex court about the pending applications along with a submission that the government was committed to effect a viable and convenient mass transportation system in the city, complementing its Metro Rail services.

“We were required to approach the SC for getting these speed governors removed as they had been installed on court orders. Earlier, the buses could not accelerate beyond 40 km per hour. But we had to get special permission for the buses meant for athletes as we cannot afford to take any chances with their safety in case of emergencies,” the official said.

People coming in to watch the international event are also in for a fun ride, with the DTC making 1,667 buses available to them under the ‘park and ride’ facility. “These buses will carry spectators from designated spots, where they can park their vehicles, and take them to the stadiums,” he added.

By the end of the Games, the city would have at least 1,000 additional buses on its roads. “By the end of September, we will have around 6,500 buses on the streets and 600 brand new buses, to be used exclusively for the athletes and others,” the official said.

Police verification of Games volunteers has barely begun

The antecedents of only 1,591 volunteers - of the 20,000 chosen for the Commonwealth Games - have been verified and the remaining are yet to get the green signal from Delhi Police even as the mega sporting event is just 34 days away.

Police have not set a deadline for the process and say verification is done as and when the Games organising committee sends in the names of volunteers.

"We have set no deadline for the (completion of) verification of volunteers. We will keep on doing that till the organising committee continues to send us the forms. We are committed to completing the process at the earliest,"
Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson of Delhi Police, told IANS.

Bhagat also denied allegations that police were facing a staff crunch for verification of volunteers. "When we get a large number of applications, we distribute them among different branches so that verification is completed in time," said Bhagat.

According to Delhi Police, they are still receiving forms from the organising committee for verification of contractors, caterers, sponsors and others related to the sporting event.

All those who need to enter the Games venues during the Oct 3-14 event will be issued accreditation cards and no one will be allowed inside the venues without the cards, officials said.

Bhagat said under no circumstances would any person be allowed inside a Games venue without a valid card.

In June, the organising committee had reduced the number of volunteers for the sporting event from an initial 30,000 to 22,000. Of those selected, only 19,724 turned up for training.

The selected volunteers have been imparted three days of intensive training in various aspects like medical assistance, disaster management, gender sensitivity, doping test and protocols.

According to senior officials, the special branch of police is handling the verification process. The character verification department in the branch is headed by an assistant commissioner of police and has one inspector and a few subordinates.

The special branch also carries out verification related to passports and character verification requests from public.

As per police officials, the verification process is multi-layered. "We want everyone to be verified by police and then by the organising committee," said an official.

"We have carried out verification of even policemen who will be deployed inside stadia," he said. "All those who will go inside stadia, be it volunteers or artists, need to be verified."

While most contractors will get access to venues as per operational needs, some of them will be issued special passes, with multiple entry facility, according to the nature of their job function, said the official.

Indian hockey squad for Commonwealth Games announced

A 16-member Indian hockey squad for the Commonwealth Games was announced Monday. Rajpal Singh will lead the team for the Oct 3-14 event.

"The team was selected after the trials conducted at Balewadi, Pune, in the presence of Hockey India selectors Balbir Singh and B.P. Govinda, government nominees Ajitpal Singh and Zafar Iqbal besides the foreign coach Jose Brasa
and national coach Harendra Singh," Hockey India said in a statement Monday.

The Indian team is currently training at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune.

Defenders: Sardar Singh, Sandeep Singh, Dhananjay Mahadik, Gurbaj Singh, Prabodh Tirkey Midfielders: Arjun Halappa, Vikram Pillay, Ravi Pal, Bharat Chikara, Danish Mujtaba Sarvanjit Singh Forwards: Rajpal Singh (captain), Tushar Khandker, Shivendra Singh, Dharamvir Singh. Goalkeeper: Bharat Chetri

back to top