Trouble in the air: 50cr aerostat develops snag | other | Hindustan Times
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Trouble in the air: 50cr aerostat develops snag

other Updated: Sep 23, 2010 00:07 IST
Shubhodeep Chakravarty

Much like the collapsing stadiums, which were billed as world class initially, the R 50 crore helium showpiece — aerostat — for the Commonwealth Games ceremonies at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium also developed startling glitches on Wednesday.

With 10 days to go to the opening ceremony, the 80m by 40m aerostat — to be used as a three-dimensional stage during the ceremony — has developed a technical snag owing to two balloons within it bursting. This will greatly cripple the lifting capability of the aerostat even as technicians are looking to take remedial steps.

Initially, the aerostat was supposed to rise up to a maximum height of 30 meters but according to sources, in the existing scenario, height is immaterial as the 10m high balloon will wobble the moment it lifts from its base stand. This has been attributed to windy conditions.

"The installation in the first place was not done properly and in the current scenario of rains and windy conditions, the balloon has become highly unstable," revealed an official at the venue.

The aerostat, designed by Mark Fisher of Stufish, had earlier been seen as a wasteful expenditure by many but was deemed necessary on technical grounds.

"The bottom of the balloon has mirror reflectors which help in balancing the general lighting conditions in the stadium," Indu Anand, deputy director of general ceremonies had told media on the day the aerostat was unveiled.

The bigger question though remains as to whether such an expensive showpiece is worth the trouble if it cannot withstand untimely weather turbulences.