University hostels will get a facelift, thanks to Games
The state government, aware that there won’t be enough hotel rooms to accommodate visitors during the commonwealth Games, plans to put up some of them in refurbished university hostels.
This won’t be difficult as during the duration of the Games, universities in the capital would be closed with students enlisted for Games-related duties. The Tourism Ministry will help university authorities run these hostels as long as the Games are on.
The ministry on Monday said Delhi could face a shortage of about 6,000 rooms during the Games. The city would require 30,000 rooms to accommodate sportspersons and visiting people. Delhi has about 11,000 hotel rooms with provision for another 13,000 before the event kicks off.
Those without rooms, the ministry said, would be accommodated in hostels of Delhi University, the Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Milla Islamia. Under the proposal, the Centre would provide the money needed for refurbishing these hostels.
Sports Minister M.S. Gill has asked the ministry to discuss the plan with relevant ministries. “It would be a new gift to the students,” Gill said.
A committee on the Games, whose members include Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi, was told Akbar Hotel that houses the Ministry of External Affairs might be available for the Games. The MEA is expected to shift to its new headquarters by 2009.
In the face of complaints from government agencies that rising steel and cement prices were preventing them from completing hotel projects on time, the committee decided to set up a committee that would arrange for additional stock of steel and cement. The sports ministry, on its part, would take up the issue of rising prices with the finance ministry. The committee also asked the urban development ministry to develop uniform signages and street furniture at places hosting events and visitors.