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‘Delhi not game for 2010’

With just 585 days to go,the run-up time to the Commonwealth Games might have come down to a sprint but the Delhi government and the Delhi Development Authority still seem to be running a marathon,says a Parliamentary committee report.

Written by Sobhana K | New Delhi |
February 25, 2009 11:35:31 pm

Parliament panel questions Sheila govt,DDA’s preparedness for next year’s mega-event

With just 585 days to go,the run-up time to the Commonwealth Games might have come down to a sprint but the Delhi government and the Delhi Development Authority still seem to be running a marathon,says a Parliamentary committee report.

The committee on transport tourism and culture,headed by CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member Sitaram Yechury,today raised serious doubts about accommodation and other infrastructure to be set up in time for the Games next year. The report,titled ‘Development of Tourism Infrastructure and Amenities for Commonwealth Games 2010’,observes that the Sheila Dikshit government in Delhi did not submit any proposal for development of infrastructure and capacity building to the Centre till November 2008.

“The Commonwealth Games are drawing closer (but) many projects have yet to be initiated,let alone completed. In such a situation,absence of any proposal from the Delhi government surprises the committee,” the report says. The report said this is despite the fact that there is sufficient fund available for the projects.

The committee also questioned the DDA’s ability to put in place the necessary accommodation ahead of the Games. “The committee has serious doubts about the capability of DDA for expediting the issue of identification and allotment of hotel sites for construction of budget hotels for the Games,” the report said. It said that hotels in the Capital and its surrounding cities have only 14,000 rooms available as against the requirement of 30,000 rooms during the Games.

It noted that the pace of creation of additional hotel accommodation at 39 sites auctioned by DDA since January 2006 is a matter of concern as a recent assessment revealed that only 1,924 rooms would be available in time for the sporting event. Committee chairman Sitaram Yechury said the DDA auctioned these sites only for construction of hotels,and action should be taken against the developers if they are not building hotels.

The committee also said there is an utter lack of coordination among the various agencies involved in building Games-related projects. “There are a large number of civic and other agencies like DDA,CPWD,MCD,NDMC,ASI,and Delhi Jal Board engaged in the task but there is an absence of a coordinating mechanism,” the 31-member panel observed in the report. It stressed on the need to designate a single authority to coordinate and develop synergies between all the agencies involved in executing Games projects.

On the cleaning and maintenance of the Yamuna,the report said the committee was surprised to find that DDA was unaware of its responsibility of developing the riverfront.

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