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Games Village is the best ever, claims Kalmadi

From G Unnikrishnan New Delhi:New Delhi, Sep 16, DHNS

Kalmadi purrs in delight about Games Village as venue gets a soft opening

The weariness of a long journey transforms into admiration once you step inside the 2010 Commonwealth Games Village, spread over 27.17 acres, on the banks of river Yamuna.

Shera the mascot digs in at Thursday’s luncheon preview. AFP

After going through a cumbersome, but understandable security screening procedure at the gate, you enter a world of modern amenities, brilliant architecture perfectly in sync with nature, posh flats, prayer areas, well laid-out avenues and a host of other facilities as princely as a sum of Rs 1100 crore can fetch.

“This Games Village is definitely one of the best in the world, on par with some of the Games Villages in the Olympics. We can accommodate 7,200 athletes in the village. I am sure the athletes are going to enjoy the experience here,” said Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the Organising Committee, on the occasion of the soft opening of the Games Village on Thursday.

The function also saw heads of various religious sects offering prayers in the location.
Kalmadi’s statement might appear laced with generous impudence, but a visit to the dining area proves that is no empty boast. The massive hall can accommodate nearly 3,000 people and the kitchen will churn out 30,000 meals a day from October 3.  
On offer are some exotic dishes from across the globe prepared under the watchful eyes of Walter, the master chef at the Games Village.


“We have got detailed menu from each country and we are fully prepared to meet the demands of teams as well as individuals,” said the Australian, also in charge of the kitchen during the Melbourne edition of the event in Australia four years ago.

The architectural brilliance of the Village extends much beyond the kitchen area. Shravan Gupta, MD of Emaar MGF, the chief construction group of the Village, said the Delhi property was much bigger than its predecessors in Melbourne and Manchester.

“We had to build everything from scratch and it was a big challenge for us but we have managed to build the property in 32 months. This Village is the outcome of the tireless effort of 12,000 workers 24x7 over nearly the last three years,” Gupta said.

“We have used Italian marble in all the rooms jelling well with the wooden finish and there are some other state-of-the-art facilities like eco-friendly VRF method of air-conditioning, treated water supply, solar energy system and integrated wi-fi and DTH facilities. I can say we have one of the best Games Village built ever. It is certainly bigger and more advanced than in Melbourne and Manchester,” he added.

“The venture is a Delhi Development Authority (DDA) certified green project. This Village certainly is a model of Indian craftsmanship.”The biggest challenge is the maintenance of such a massive and prime property once the Games end on October 14. “We are aware of the challenge. Since this is a public-private venture between Emaar and DDA, both bodies have to take call on this together. But we have certain plans lined up,” Gupta added.

There are some concerns about the Village’s preparedness against dengue since the property stands on the river bank. Allaying the fears, Kalmadi said, “We’ve taken all possible steps against the disease and we have employed a strong health care team in the Village.”

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