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Too much happening, too late

delhi Updated: Sep 18, 2009 23:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Four months back, morning walkers at Yamuna Sports Complex were taken by surprise when heavy machinery — cranes, rollers, trucks — rolled into the serene complex, upsetting their routine.

Today the venue, which will host table tennis and archery events, and serve as a practice venue for hockey etc, looks as if it has been hit by a strong earthquake.

Steel, concrete slabs, iron girders, paint cans and the constant whir of the omnipresent cranes make it seem like a war zone being rebuilt from scratch.

The archery complex is coming up in the middle of a huge puddle of slush, the result of four days of incessant rain last week.

As for the pace of work, it is frenetic to say the least but not reassuring enough.

“There should be a practical assessment of the works completed so far. What appears on the files is exaggerated,” said one of the life members of the complex, on condition of anonymity.

“You can judge for yourself how much work has been completed,” he said, adding, “I don’t think it’s even 25 per cent complete at the moment.”

Officials of the construction company, BE Billimoria, building the table tennis venue are tight-lipped. “We are not allowed to talk to the media,” said the company’s general manager V. Suresh.

At other venues — the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium and the Yamuna Velodrome, which is housed inside the complex — things are far from rosy.

The chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Suresh Kalmadi, had himself gone on record saying that the velodrome and the Games Village would not be complete before March.

Although the circular boundaries of the velodrome have started taking shape, there is nothing heartening about the entire complex, which is again a shapeless iron and concrete jungle for now.