2010 Games Village: Prime
real estate for govt?
Dec 16, 2007.
Host Cities of Earlier
held Commonwealth Games
1930 Hamilton, Canada
1934 London, England
1938 Sydney, Australia
1950 Auckland, New Zealand
1954 Vancouver, Canada
1958 Cardiff, Wales
1962 Perth, Australia
1966 Kingston, Jamaica
1970 Edinburgh, Scotland
1974 Christchurch, New
1978 Edmonton, Canada
1982 Brisbane, Australia
1986 Edinburgh, Scotland
1990 Auckland, New Zealand
1994 Victoria, Canada
1998 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2002 Manchester, England
2006 Melbourne, Australia
New Delhi: The Delhi Government
is calling the 2010 Commonwealth Games — the green Games. But is the environment
being sidelined by the colour of money?
CNN-IBN’s Special Investigation
Team has found out that contrary to earlier promises, the Games Village
will be handed to the Village developer and the DDA to sell off as prime
real estate after the Games are over.
Activists and ecologists
say the government is flouting environmental norms by building the Games
Village for the 2010 Commonwealth Games on the Yamuna flood plains, even
as those in charge insist that approvals are in place.
“For any kind of construction
like that of Commonwealth Games Village, the kinds of clearances which
are required are those from the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) and
the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), " claims Minister for Urban
Development Delhi, Ajay Maken. "All necessary clearance from both these
bodies have been obtained.”
“We have had a fresh
air of controversies regarding the environment, like any other games that
have taken place in the past,” says Chairman Indian Olympics Association,
He says that controversies
the Commonwealth Games Village will be "sorted out."
But documents show the
Games Village site violates a High Court order against all encroachments
on the Yamuna Flood Plain. Expert Committees set up by the Delhi Government
are also against the plan.
The High Court had said
that any kind of encroachment — residential, religious or industrial— is
Even the Usha Mehra Committee
had urged DDA to stop the construction on the Yamuna riverbed.
And those in the expert
committee set up by the Environment Ministry, say that they had never approved
“I was called especially
for this particular project. We said, ‘Nothing doing. We shouldn’t be recommending
this project,’” says Hydrology Expert IIT Delhi, AK Gosain.
The Delhi Government's
plan for the Village after the Games are over is also suspect. The DDA
and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit had originally promised to convert
the 4000 odd houses into University accommodation.
But CNN-IBN investigation
revealed that now the Games Village is clearly being seen as prime real
"The DDA has come out
with a plan. The private company which has been entrusted the task of constructing
Commonwealth Games Village, that company will retain two-third of the total
accommodation and one-third will be given to DDA, which DDA will auction
off later," says Maken.
4000 houses selling at
prime rates is a lot of money. No wonder, the key environmental concerns
are being wilfully ignored.