Monday, September 14, 2009



The snail speed at which most of the 35 projects are proceeding and their completion is nowhere in sight makes a well-intentioned Indian worried. The good name of the Indian nation is at stake. The big bosses who should throw their weight behind the plan to carry on the work on 35 Projects at break neck speed are now deeply involved in the blame game. The powers that be have found a scapegoat to save their own skin. It is the MCD- the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. The reasons are more political than real.
The rumour is rife that the Government of Delhi has plans to takeover the MCD in the name of better coordination. However, knowledgeable critics are of the opinion that the BJP run MCD is an eyesore to the Congress run Delhi govt. So they have found an excuse in the name of coordination to takeover the finances and duties of MCD. If that is true, it would be a blot on the name of the party in power both at the Centre and the Delhi state.
The main stadium is the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium where a number of events of the Commonwealth Games will be staged. It is, however, said that the main stadium is also not ready as per plan. No doubt it has been a functional stadium even before the present project propped up but it had to be redone to meet the new and extended requirements. No completion report can be claimed to have been filed by any of the numerous agencies involved.
In a media chat involving some archtects it came to light that there is no Master Plan of the entire Commonwealth Games. Its veracity is yet to be tested but the way the work is going on it appears to be a disjointed effort. There may be a large allocation for improvement of roads and construction of fly overs but allocation of funds may be meagre for the transportation department. The fly overs may facilitate movement of traffic bu the department may need a large fleet of buses to help players, spectators, officials etc to move swiftly from point A to point B. The large fleet of low floor good buses is not yet in position.
The Games Village that is coming up at a vantage site on the Yamuna bed near the Akshara Dham mandir is far from completion. let us not forget that it is not only the four walls of residential accommodation, community centre and recreational facilities that matter. What matters most that the entire complex should give a comfortable look and feel so that the foreign athletes feel at home away from home. The furnishings, the artistic decoration, the paintings and what have you that will be displayed in the residential complex should be imbued with the soul of our nation without forgetting the likes and dislikes of the occupants. The hospitality includes the food to be served - not only a wholesome meal but nutritive items that take care of the palate too. Suitable chefs have to be positioned and rehearsed of the content, presentation and timings of all meals - Indian, Mughlai, Chinese, Continental and what have you. religious susceptibilities of participants and officials have to be catered for.
No wonder Smt Sheela Dixit, Chief Minister Delhi said that looking at the gigantic problems left to be tackled she is feeling "nervous". Imagine what the fate of foot soldier would be when the commander-in-chief is shaky about the completion of as many as 53 projects related to the Commonwealth Games. Some optimists opine that 27 years ago, India had successfully handled the Asiad. So where is the problem now? Well, the state of supply of electricity and water matters a lot. The movement of traffic in Delhi is more complex now than ever before because of overgrowing population in Delhi.
Some well intentioned critics have said that it would be a good idea to take the help of those nations that have the expertise and experience of hosting big sports events like the Olympics. In our neighbourhood, China can be of help but recent events on borders may prevent India and China from coming closer to the extent of helping in the running of Projects of the Commonwealth Games. A sane piece of advice will be to the Indian officials and citizen-volunteers to shake off crutches,if any, and walk along on one's own strength, let us remember - First Walk, Then Run.
Submitted by Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

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