After years of hard labour and toil, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was finally inaugurated on Tuesday, 68 days before the start of the Commonwealth Games. The excitement during the opening ceremony was befitting the reputation the main venue deserves.
Dignitaries have repeatedly graced CWG venues and showered praises on the ‘architectural marvels.’ The Nehru Stadium truly justified every bit of accolades that came its way.
“It is a remarkable piece of construction that will make not just people in Delhi but the entire nation proud,” said Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit.
The Rs 961-crore project had repeatedly missed deadlines due to varied reasons, including construction of a tunnel beneath the entire length of the stadium. With a two- tier seating capacity of 60,000, the athletics venue features nine synthetic training tracks, state of the art lightings, is earthquake resistant and will house the National Dope Test Laboratory. The unique feature though is the membrane cable-roof costing a whopping Rs 100 crore. It has been built with new support extending up to 71 metres into the stands and without any perpendicular support from inside.
Initially built for the Asian Games in 1982, the stadium has been renovated by CPWD with help from international consultants from six countries. Even though the renovation took over two-and-a-half years, the stadium was given prime importance, as it will also host the opening and closing ceremonies.
“The workers and engineers involved deserve special credit for putting in immense hard work in meeting high standards of engineering,” said Sports Minister MS Gill.
He further said that the Organising Committee will be handed over charge of all the stadiums on August 1 while the weightlifting venue will also be inaugurated in a couple of days. Formal completion though is still some distance away as some stadia have reported minor damages due to the early morning showers on Tuesday.