With 974 days to go, preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games got a fillip following Friday’s announcement in the Union Budget of a Rs 624-crore grant during 2008-09 for developing various Games-related infrastructure.
Of this, while Delhi government is set to get Rs 400 crore — an increase of Rs 50 crore over last year –– the remaining Rs 224 crore will go to other agencies, including DDA, which are associated with Games preparations.
The allocation for the city government is, however, less than what it had demanded from the Centre. In its original wishlist, Delhi government had sought Rs 500 crore in the 2008-09 budget.
Rakesh Mehta, Delhi chief secretary welcomed the Centre’s move. “Work on various games-related infrastructure projects that the Delhi government is undertaking is going on as per schedule. While we have set a deadline of December 2009 to complete work on the Games venue, all the civic infrastructure like new roads, flyovers and bridges will be completed by June 2010,” he said.
The Delhi government is responsible for developing a major chunk of civic infrastructure planned for the Games. “At present, work is underway on 17 such projects. Besides, we are developing/upgrading two Games venue –– Thyagaraja and Chatrashaal stadium,” said a senior Delhi government official.
Apart from Delhi government, DDA has also proposed a budget of Rs 12,000 crore for developing the Games village site and two games venues –– Siri Fort stadium and Yamuna Velodrome.
Sports Authority of India and Central Public Works Department are doing upgradation/ renovation of the remaining Games venue.
For the Delhi government, this would be the second instalment of Central funds to beautify the Capital and tone up infrastructure. The Centre has already approved a total allocation of Rs 770 crore over a three-year period to the Delhi government for the Games as against the latter’s demand for Rs 1,314 crore.