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Will Delhi host the 2010 Games here?

The Commonwealth Games might be just 841 days away but work on the five major stadiums that will host over half-a-dozen sporting events seems to be moving at a snail’s pace, reports Moushumi Das Gupta.
By htreporters@hindustantimes.com | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 16, 2008 12:05 AM IST

The Commonwealth Games might be just 841 days away but work on the five major stadiums that will host over half-a-dozen sporting events seems to be moving at a snail’s pace.

A status report prepared by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), responsible for the work, says that, as on May 2008, less than 50 per cent work was complete in almost all the stadiums. The report was recently submitted to the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.

The CPWD is developing five stadiums at a cost of Rs 1,565 crore. These include the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Dr S.P. Mukherjee (Talkatora) Swimming Pool, Indira Gandhi Stadium and Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

Senior officials in the Union Urban Development Ministry admit that work had slowed down in the beginning of this year because of rise in cement and steel prices. “The supply was not commiserating with the demand. This resulted in delay. But now work has picked up pace again. We are confident that work at all the five stadiums will be complete by December 2009,” said an Urban Development Ministry official.

Here is a low down on the extent of work that has been done in the five stadiums till now.

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

Except for the reconstruction of lower tier at the stadium where apart from the opening and closing ceremony, events like athletics, lawn bowl and weightlifting will be held which is 75 per cent complete, progress in most of the work is below 50 per cent.

Only 47 per cent work is complete in the new administrative block and the anti-doping laboratory. Work on the state-of-the-art tensile membrane roof over the stands is eight per cent complete, while work on the weightlifting auditorium has started in April and is just 1 per cent complete.

Indira Gandhi Stadium

The other four stadiums do not fare any better. Various upgradation and renovation work at the stadium venue for gymnastic, cycling and wrestling events are at an initial stage. While the work on the main roof of the stadium is 35 per cent complete, the concept plan and model for the 250- metre timber track indoor cycling velodrome is with the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) for approval.

Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium

Work in the VIP gallery and open stands at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, venue for hockey, which started in September 2007 is 25 per cent complete.

Dr S.P. Mukherjee Swimming Pool

It is the same story at the Talkatora indoor swimming pool that will host the aquatic events. The pool will get a membrane roof supported by a cable net. The remodeling and upgradation work is just six per cent complete.

Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range

The venue that will host all the shooting events will get a new composite shooting range at a cost of Rs 65 crore. Clearances from different agencies are yet to come through. Work is expected to start from July 15.

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