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With so much planned for the Yamuna riverbed, the CGWB has been busy celebrating rainwater harvesting week in Delhi's schools with painting and elocution competitions. Some estimates say that Delhi's full potential of RWH can supply at most 10 percent of its current consumption - Rajesh

Delhi's moment in the sun


It's an event we're all waiting for. After the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, all
sights will be set on Delhi - the venue for the Commonwealth Games. Delhi
will then become the first Indian city and the second Asian one after
Malaysia to host the Games.

Preparations have begun and the city's ability to host these Games will come
in handy when India bids for the 2014 Asian Games and the 2016 Olympics.

The Planning Commission has allocated Rs 5,100 crore to Delhi for 2005-06,
of which Rs 200 crore had been set aside for development pegged to the 2010
C'wealth Games.

SPORTY TIMES There will be two new stadia in the Yamuna Sports Complex.
The DDA will also construct a Games Village on a 118-acre site on the Yamuna
bed at an approximate cost of Rs 4 crore. It can house 8,500 athletes and
officials. "The Village can be expanded to accommodate 11,000 athletes in
future," says IOA secretary general, Randhir Singh. "It will be a
state-of-the-art village," explains Dibakar Sarkar, director, DDA, with
modern medical, fitness, cultural and communication centres. Six stadia
will also undergo transformation as most of the present infrastructure was
created for the 1982 Asiad Games. Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Indira Gandhi
Stadium, Yamuna Velodrome, National Stadium, Talkatora Stadium and the Karni
Singh Shooting Range need modern illumination systems, new changing rooms,
galleries, leak-proof roofs, air-conditioning plants, track modifications,
new pools and ranges. "The dope testing lab at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium will
also be upgraded," says Singh.

INFRASTRUCTURE OVERHAUL Expressways, Metro Rail, high-capacity buses,
monorails, flyovers and broader roads - Delhi's transportation revamp will
be on a massive scale. "The DTC will have about 1,000 new buses by 2010. The
on-going Green campaign will ensure that air pollution levels remain low.
All buses will have an Automatic Vehicle Tracking System (AVTS) which will
not only help to track speed and location but also the trips missed by the
buses," says Haroon Yusuf, Delhi's transport and power minister. A special
lane will also be dedicated for athletes' vehicles.

Two new bridges across the Yamuna - at Geeta Colony and Wazirabad - will
improve East Delhi's connectivity. "The Wazirabad bridge will be a signature
one like the London Bridge. It'll have a tower from where people can view
Delhi," says Arvinder Singh Lovely, Delhi's tourism minister. There will
be improved power supply with new grid stations coming up at Maharani Bagh,
Siri Fort and Akshardham. The Lodhi Station will be upgraded. "The Games
Village will have dedicated power supply through a special station," says

INCREDIBLE DELHI To cope up with the increased tourist traffic, the
government is planning to add about one lakh hotel rooms. "We need many
more budget hotels. We are finalising the details of plots where these
hotels can come up," says Lovely. As the Games Village will be on the
Yamuna bank, the river bed will also be developed, with parks, night
bazaars, cultural activities and heritage packages.

OTHER FACILITIES A massive freight complex will be constructed ahead of
the Games. If Asiad '82 saw coloured TVs entering our drawing rooms, 2010
may see cable TV getting digitalised. That's if the proposal of the Telecom
Regulatory Authority of India to digitalise cable TV between 2006-2010 gets
the go-ahead. This would mean more channels, improved signal delivery and
interactive offerings like video-on-demand (VoD).

Will these grand plans run on course? CWG president Michael Fennell who was
in India recently feels things are behind schedule and organisers need to
pull up their socks to avert a desperate last-minute rush.

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