Games village site may be moved

NEW DELHI: The site of the2010 Commonwealth Gamesvillage along a major riverbedin New Delhi is likely to beshifted following objectionsfrom the environment ministry,a report said on Friday. 

“The objections raised by the ministry, apart from injunctions that no permanent structures can be permitted on the ecologically sensitive riverbed, have more or less put paid to the original plans,” the Times of India said. 

The local development authorities are now planning to take up the issue of the almost 60ha (148 acres) with the environment ministry, it added. 

“If issues are not resolved, the venue of the Games Village can be shifted to some other site,” the newspaper quoted junior Urban Development minister Ajay Maken as saying. 

It said the hunt had begun for an alternative site away from the Yamuna river for the complex which will house thousands of athletes from 72 countries. 

The environment ministry has refused permission for construction of any permanent structures, stressing environmental guidelines. 

But urban development officials were optimistic a Village could still be completed on time despite the scarcity and expense of land in the Indian capital of more than 14 million people. 

“There is nothing to worry (about) as until now only land had been identified for the Games Village,” said one official. 

Politicians have already expressed alarm over the snail-paced preparations for the US$1.15bil showcase. 

The government plans to build new flyovers to relieve crowded roads, renovate the airport, construct new stadia as well as the Games Village that will be converted into a residential complex after the event. – AFP  

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