Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Game on, Commonwealth Village gets green signal to begin construction (The Indian Express 26 December 2007)

It’s game on for the Village. The Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) has given a final go-ahead to the construction of the Commonwealth Games Village.
Designed by renowned Australian architect Daryl Jackson, the project will be carried out in two parts — residential apartments and the sports components.

The sports complex will have a training and practice hall, a gymnasium, dining hall, transport mall and an international zone. In the residential component, 4,000 units will be built to accommodate 8,000 athletes expected to participate in the Games.

“The Commonwealth Games organising committee has issued a number of guidelines that had to be incorporated in the Village,” says Shekhar Dey, DDA’s Games project in-charge. “The committee said we have to develop offices for the Games associations of all 71 participating countries where they can hold meetings. We were also told to build dope-test centres and polyclinics for the athletes.

“All these factors have been incorporated in the plans.”

The organising committee has further mandated that the Village have proper provisions for all “elite athletes with disabilities”. Accordingly, the entire Village will be disabled-friendly with ramps and specially designed toilets.

According to guidelines, the dining hall should be able to accommodate at least 2,500 athletes at a time, all goods coming to the area should go through a security check, and provisions should be made to store rations in case of a strike in Delhi.

Dey says the residential component will be developed by Emaar-MGF. The developer will sell off these three- and four-bedroom flats, developed as premium flats in a complex spread over 11 hectares, after the Games are over.

The second component will be used as a sports complex later. Tenders for developing this component will be issued by the DDA in January first week and the work should begin by March next year, officials said.

The DDA has, meanwhile, shelved the proposal to develop a five-star hotel in the complex. The 5.5-hectare land where the hotel was to be built will be used as surface parking for 300-odd cars during the Games. After the Games are over, a shopping mall will come up on the plot.

“The deadline for the residential part is March 2010 and the sports component June 2010,” Dey says. “The work on the flats already started in October and 25 per cent of the foundation has already been laid.”

Eye on designer
Based in Melbourne, Daryl Jackson Architects specialise in sports infrastructure. They have designed the Melbourne Docklands Stadium, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Brisbane Cricket Ground, and the Woolloongabba Cricket Ground among other sporting venues. Besides the 2010 Games, the firm is also helping Beijing host the 2008 Olympics.

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