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Delhi's 'Game'plan to welcome the world

Last updated on: July 28, 2010 23:28 IST

Delhi's 'Game'plan to welcome the world

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The Commonwealth Games are barely three months away and the Delhi government is pulling out all stops to ensure that the largest sporting spectacle that India has ever hosted is a success.

From low floor buses to armoured vehicles, mobile jammers to traffic management, the Sheila Dikshit government is working overtime to project the national capital as the destination-to-be-in.

As the city gets ready to welcome thousands of tourists and participants from 71 countries this October, rediff.com takes a look at some of the measures that the administration has taken to make them feel at home.

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Image: Reuters

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911 more low-floor buses on the road

The Delhi Transport Corporation has announced that 911 more low-floor buses would be put on the road before the Commonwealth Games.

The Corporation will introduce more than 900 buses, which would increase the strength of its fleet to 6,500.

The Delhi high court had asked the city government to chalk out a plan to address the transport problem in the city in view of the Commonwealth Games to be held in October.

Though the Blueline commuter buses that earned a sobriquet of 'killer buses' will not be phased out before October, the city government willl be relying heavily on state-run buses and Delhi Metro.

A total of 574 dedicated buses will be put into service for ferrying athletes and delegates to the Games venues. Besides, 80 buses will be put standby in case of an urgent requirement. All these 654 buses will be fully air-conditioned.



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Delhi's 'Game'plan to welcome the world

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A plan to tackle Delhi's traffic woes

The Delhi Traffic Police has drawn up a detailed Traffic management Plan for managing traffic during Games.

The Traffic Management Plan will provide safe, rapid, orderly and efficient mobility to all categories of road users during the Commonwealth Games, 2010, particularly to vehicles carrying players, dignitaries attending the Games and spectators coming to witness the events.

The salient features of the Traffic Management Plan are:

> To ensure seamless movement for all Games related traffic, including VIP movements.
> To identify routes for participants, VIPs etc from the International Airport to the Games Village/hotels and from the Games Village to the various venues.
> To operate a dedicated lane for accredited CWG vehicles.
> To provide for alternate/diversionary routes to allow the normal city traffic with minimum dislocation.
> Parking and traffic circulation arrangements at all venues, including media centre, airport, railway stations, ISBTs, hotels and places of tourist interest etc.
> To promote integration of public transport, including Metro Rail etc.
> To discourage use of private modes of transport.



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Delhi's 'Game'plan to welcome the world

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Armoured vehicles, commandos...

Amid fears that terrorists might try to target the Commonwealth Games, the Delhi Police is procuring armoured vehicles and will form a special commando force.

"We will be getting three armoured cars. Delhi will be the first city in the country to use such vehicles in policing," Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal said, adding, "These vehicles will be moving around the city and (sometimes) stationed at venues."

The vehicles, each carrying 30 commandos, would be deployed to tackle eventualities like terror strikes. One batch of such commandos is ready while two batches are undergoing special training.

Besides, the city police is procuring high-end gadgets and equipment.

Apart from around 80,000 Delhi Police personnel, over 17,500 paramilitary personnel, 3,000 specialised commandos and 100 anti-sabotage check teams will be deployed across the city.



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Delhi's 'Game'plan to welcome the world

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Mobile jammers at CWG venues

Security agencies are mulling the option of installing mobile phone jammers at Commonwealth Games venues to thwart any possible terror strike.

Sources said the step is being considered in view of the threat to the fortnight-long sporting extravaganza from terrorist groups, which may try to use mobile phones to trigger explosives as they have done on several occasions in the past.

There has been no credible threat so far but the government is taking every pre-emptive precaution, sources said.

Each of the 13 competition venues for the Commonwealth Games will have a three-tier security ring and special arrangements will be made to transport the athletes to and from the Games Village with helicopters carrying commando snipers keeping an eye on the convoys below.

This is to prevent a repeat of the Lahore attack of March 2009 in which militants shot at and injured Sri Lankan cricketers touring Pakistan. To ensure fleet security, each of the 574 vehicles used for ferrying athletes across the city will have to undergo a mandatory anti-sabotage clearance every morning before athletes board it.



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Delhi's 'Game'plan to welcome the world

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Extending more comfort

Delhi Government has extended the threshold limit for charging luxury tax per room in guesthouses and hotels in the city from existing Rs 500 to Rs 1,000.

The move comes as a huge shortage of hotels and guesthouses to accommodate the visitors of the Commonwealth Games looms large. Government estimates that nearly one lakh tourists will visit the city during the mega event beginning October 3.

The government is bringing an amendment bill to make the change on Delhi Tax on Luxuries Act, 1996.

The Luxuries Act provides for levying luxury tax on hotel accommodation and other services provided in a room in a hotel.

The decision to increase the limit for levying luxury tax has been taken following increase in overall cost index.



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Delhi's 'Game'plan to welcome the world

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Showcasing India to the guests

A confluence of 'bazaars' displaying the best of textiles and artistic wares from across the country will provide a glimpse of India's traditional art and culture to visitors during the Commonwealth Games.

Although Ministry of Textiles regularly sets up such fairs throughout India, for the upcoming Games artisans and weavers are set to converge at the 'golden triangle' of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, according to official sources.

Kanjeevaram silk from Tamil Nadu, Patachitra from Orissa, Chikankari from Lucknow and Mojiris from Rajasthan are a sample of textiles that would be exhibited at the outlets.

During the first two weeks in October, a total of 150 national awardees along with masters specialising in crafting handmade goods and weaving cloth would come together at a special master creation programme in the capital.

The bazaars, typical of centuries-old markets in India are expected to be set up along the 'Golden Triangle' route in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur especially to attract visitors from countries participating at the Games.



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There is also a 'health plan'

Delhi Government has apprised the Commonwealth Games Federation about the healthcare facilities and emergency medical services it plans to put in place for the mega event.

Under the 'health plan' finalised by the government, healthcare facilities are being scaled up in three designated hospitals -- GB Pant hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia and the Alli India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Each of the designated hospitals will have a secure ward, emergency areas, ICU beds and 30 beds identified to meet the requirement of athletes.

Medical facilities are also being improved at various other government hospitals and equipment procurement process has already been completed in these hospitals.

'Pest Control of India', known for professional pest management service, has been directed to exterminate rats and lizards in and around hotels and guest houses where visitors coming for the event will stay.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has been given the responsibility of launching aggressive fogging in all the stadia to keep away mosquitoes causing malaria and dengue.



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