Thursday, August 5, 2010

CWG headaches!

The Times of India had an article yesterday on 60 days to go for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 30 headaches they are facing. Boria Majumandar looks at 30 crucial challenges confronting the organisers.

It's now down to the last 60 days. The 'Games train' has left the station. We are terrified of failing before the glare of the world's cameras. Meantime, Delhi is going through what has been labelled as the 'winner's curse'. 
Every city that wins an event like the Commonwealth Games talks up its benefits, while talking down the downside. This becomes part of a narrative that is progressively enriched, without critical examination.
If handled right, the prospect of playing host to the world on the occasion of CWG 2010 could surely have ushered in a new era in the history of Indian sport. But with just 60 days to go, Delhi badly needs a miracle to get things back on track. 
Despite all the contradictions surrounding the Commonwealth Games, there's little doubt that if staged well, it will make a statement to a sizeable global audience. A failed Games experience, on the other hand, will add teeth to the murmurs that there remains a serious disconnect between India's new-found modernity and the masses of Indians who still inhabit pitiable conditions of existence - a stereotype championed by commentators intrigued by India's growing economic might and political clout. 
At its best, Delhi 2010 was to herald the start of a new journey. The event was meant to reorder the city and make it more livable. 
With just 60 days to go, however, such a possibility appears remote. It's now about a last-chance dash to finish the stadiums, get infrastructure projects completed, stave off allegations of financial mismanagement and somehow justify the claim of having transformed Delhi into a truly global city. 
With the magnitude of unfinished work resulting in daily headlines in the nation's press, the organisers of Delhi 2010 should brace themselves for the most difficult 60 days of their lives.

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

The stadium which was inaugurated amidst much fanfare still looks a construction site. While work inside the stadium is near complete, much remains to be done with regard to landscaping, underground cabling, removal of the huge debris that has piled up, approach roads and the adjoining weightlifting stadium, which has a damaged floor due to leakage.

R K Khanna Tennis Complex R K Khanna Tennis Complex

Looks good from inside with some cement and plastering work outstanding. However, from the outside the stadium is a nightmare. Overlays need to get done and the debris that has piled up will take days, if not weeks, to be removed. Unless it is all complete the overlays cannot be taken up in full swing causing the organisers a real headache.

University Rugby Stadium

This is surely one of the most beautiful stadiums in Delhi. However, much of the underground cabling work remains and the rubble is marring the beauty of the site. And, unless proper plans are in place, there's a big chance that this 10,000 seater stadium will turn into a white elephant once the Games are over.

Siri Fort Sports Complex Siri Fort Sports Complex

The venue where badminton sensation Saina Nehwal will lay claim to a gold medal, is a sorry sight. The approach roads are pathetic, the floor is damaged, there are leaks in many places and the boundary wall is far behind schedule. With giant mounds of construction material everywhere, Siri Fort is far from ready.

Thyagraj Complex

This venue is perhaps the best of the lot and is near complete. The accumulated debris needs to be cleared though and some landscaping work remains. However, the work isn't huge and will get done on time with a little more effort.

Indira Gandhi Sports Complex Indira Gandhi Sports Complex

The Indira Gandhi sports complex, which will play host to three major events, is far from complete. Land-scaping and work on the boundary wall is on and the overlays haven't even started. The floor has been damaged at the velodrome.

Karni Singh Shooting Range

The shooting range was the worst affected after the rains. A grass embankment was washed away and the ceiling badly damaged. Water has leaked through and caused serious damage to the floor. The damage was such that the CISF was forced to send out an SOS to the OC seeking immediate intervention to get repair work underway.

Yamuna Sports Complex Yamuna Sports Complex

The Yamuna sports complex has also been badly damaged after the recent rains. The maple wood flooring is a sorry sight and the false ceiling has also been badly damaged. Though repair work is underway, the site's condition is a real cause for concern for the archers and paddlers who will compete here.

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