Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Commonwealth Games England's new BRAND identity

The England team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games has called in Threepipe Sport to launch its new brand identity. Commonwealth Games England has also asked Threepipe to raise awareness of the sponsorship opportunities around Team England, as they prepare for Delhi 2010.

Threepipe will help to raise consumer awareness of the new Team England brand positioning and logo, which was recently redesigned by Corporate Edge and was due to be officially unveiled this week.

The agency will attempt to use social and digital media to engage sports fans and young people directly.

In seeking to raise awareness of the new range of commercial sponsorship opportunities around Team England, Threepipe Sport will offer brands a chance to be -associated with a national sporting property in the build up to Delhi 2010, the last major multi-sport event to take place before London 2012.

In the early part of the activity, Threepipe Sport will help to raise awareness and excitement around the Queen’s Baton Relay, the traditional forerunner to each Commonwealth Games.

Delhi scientists pitch in to ensure ‘green’ Commonwealth

In a first of its kind initiative by Delhi based Indian Institute of Tropical Meterology (IITM), scientists of the institute will assess the quality of air in Delhi during the Commonwealth Games next year. Scientists will be able to predict pollution levels 24 hours in advance at 10 key locations.

The scientists will provide information on the level of carbon or particulate matter in the air and pollution levels through digital panels. The testing of the quality of air will be carried out using a system of air quality forecasting and research (SAFAR). SAFAR includes the setting up of 10 pollution monitoring stations to measure CO, O3, Suspended Particulate Matters (SPM 10 and PM 2.5 ), benzene and black carbon along with automatic weather stations within the model domain around 50 sq km area of the Games village in Delhi.

“Commonwealth Games promise to be a ‘green’ one and we have a commitment to ensure that the negative environmental impact of the games is minimised. The air quality monitoring systems will be set up at 10 locations and they will predict the pollution levels,” Dr Swati Basu, adviser to the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Project Director of SAFAR at IITM said the system will provide and display information on air quality on a real time basis and forecast the future level of pollution 24 hours in advance at various key locations of CWG-2010 through wireless, true colour digital display panels. Data will be collected on a particular day along with meteorological parameters that will be processed by our modelling team.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

India's Vijender ranked# 1 in the world

Olympic and World Championship bronze medallist Vijender Singh has achieved yet another first for Indian boxing by becoming the world's top-ranked pugilist in the middle weight (75kg) category.

The 23-year-old boxer, who won India's maiden World Championships medal in Milan earlier this month, has 2200 points and is ranked higher than the reigning champion Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan. Atoev, to whom Vijender lost in the World Championship semi-finals, is third in the list with 2100 points and Olympic silver medallist Emilio Correa Bayeux of Cuba occupies the second spot in the International Boxing Association's (AIBA) list updated after the Milan event.

IOC has expressed happiness at the latest development and has said that this is a great news right before 2010 Commonwealth Games. IOC spokesperson mentioned that Indian sports need more and more ambassadors, and Vijender's achievement speaks highly of India's long term sports development plan. IOC also highlighted that apart from Boxing other sports such as Badminton, Wrestling, Tennis and even F1 have seen consistent performance from India.

Among the other Indians, former world youth champion Thokchom Nanao Singh has slipped three places to eighth with 1400 points in the light fly weight (48kg) category.

Nanao, a silver medallist in this year's Asian Championships in China, lost in the second round of the World Championships.

Olympian Akhil Kumar, whose World Championships campaign was cut short in the first round itself due to a wrist injury, has gone down a rung to 10th in feather weight (57kg) category with 1050 points.

Fellow Olympian Jitender Kumar (54kg) also lost some ground because of his first-round exit in Milan as he dropped a place to 14th with 838 points.

Suranjoy Singh was 17th in the fly weight (51kg) category rankings. World Championship quarter-finalist Dinesh Kumar held on to his sixth spot with 1550 points in the light weight (81kg) category.

First batch of volunteers ready

The first group of volunteers who will facilitate the movement of guests in the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly scheduled next month is all set to take position. The volunteers will give visitors an insight into the culture and tradition of India and its capital.

As many as 222 volunteers have been trained for the general assembly scheduled from October 6-13. They will complement the efforts of members of the 17 functional areas in the Organising Committee (OC). The chairman of Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi, Suresh Kalmadi, said this occasion will be just a preview of the magic of the Games next year.

Addressing the volunteers, who have been sourced from various institutions, Kalmadi said they will be the real face and in fact, the backbone of the Games.

The volunteers are being trained so that the general assembly guests leave with a lasting impression. Officials feel these volunteers have the potential to help shape the world's opinion of Delhi as a world-class city.

Meanwhile, Victoria PM John Brumby visited the OC headquarters in Delhi on Saturday. Brumby said he had not forgotten the cultural show Delhi had put up at the closing ceremony of the Melbourne Games in 2006. "It was spectacular with more than 1,000 participants representing Delhi,'' he told Kalmadi adding that the friendship between Melbourne and Delhi was very strong and enduring. Kalmadi responded by saying that the Melbourne Games 2006 had raised the bar for Commonwealth Games and the Organising Committee in Delhi was ready to replicate that in 2010.

Delhi CM invite citizens for Commonwealth Games preparations

Undaunted by the furore created by her decision to get ministers to monitor each other’s work related to the Commonwealth Games, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit is now planning to extend the privilege to not just MLAs but also citizens.

The government, she told on Wednesday, will announce the opening of a control room very soon where people can call with problems ranging from broken roads to non-functioning streetlights to the greenery not having come up well to a disused police post somewhere in the city — virtually anything. She will herself monitor some of the complaints to ensure a smooth run-up to the Games.

But more than being just a complaint helpline, she says it will be a control room where ground level feedback can be given by anybody. "We will announce the number in the next 3-4 days" she says, making it very clear that any feedback on the state of the city from just about anybody will be more than welcome.

"When I go somewhere and find potholes on the road, I immediately ring up the PWD minister. But I do not know what is happening in Shanti Path or say Vikas Marg unless I actually get there. When you are coming from UP the lights are there and suddenly when you enter Delhi there are no lights and that happens almost till ITO bridge. We need citizens and MLAs to call us up and tell us about all these things. It is about reporting observations and giving feedback,’’ Dikshit said.

There is already a similar helpline run by the lieutenant governor’s office but will this be any different? Dikshit says she is not aware of the functioning of the L-G’s Listening Post but is keen on knowing about the feedback. "A lot of it I will monitor myself," she promised, adding this is her idea and discussions will need to happen to decide the contours of the control room.

Going on to categorically deny reports that the cross-department monitoring of Games projects by ministers is very much on, she said "order has not been withdrawn and all the confusion was misplaced because it is not as if we were handing one minister’s charge to another. It is very simple.

All of us go about the city all day and anything that we see amiss, be it a broken curb or streetlights burning during the day, we should report it," says the CM.

She is very keen on similar response from MLAs for their constituencies and is evidently keen to be privy to as much of this information as possible. It may even build a sense of ownership and responsibility among citizens, she feels.

MTNL invites bids to set up IT network

After bagging the deal to set up the communications IT network for the Common Wealth Games, MTNL on Friday invited bids from global and Indian companies to build this network. MTNL has said the contract to set up this infrastructure in Delhi is worth more than Rs 400 crore.

Post the Common Wealth Games, MTNL will use this infrastructure to provide Delhi with a secure dedicated communications network that will allow the city to host global meets. This is because, large global meets like that of the G20 requires host cities to have secure, dedicated communication and IT networks that can be used by the delegates of visiting countries.

In a notification on its website to all potential bidders, MTNL said: “We intend to set up a world class communications infrastructure to meet the Common Wealth Games 2010 requirements. The proposed network shall be a converged (MPLS-based IP Infrastructure) network, which shall be a 2-layer centrally managed internet (IP) backbone network, designed to provide reliable routes to cover all possible destinations.”

“Along with the complexity of the application and service delivery, there are further challenges of making sure a very high degree of reliability of the operations... On top of everything, there are requirements around security threats to make sure that network runs without any outage during the games event,” the notification on the is website added.

Importantly, MTNL has also specified that the contract will be given only to those IT and telecom hardware companies who have set up and managed similar facilities at one Olympic, Common Wealth or FIFA (world cup) in the past 10 years. Bidders have also been asked to furnish proof of having prior experience in providing these services.

Besides, MTNL has also categorically stated that only those firms that have earned profits over the last two years and have registered revenues of over Rs 500 each annually during this period can bid for the contract. “In case of subsidiaries of foreign firms, for the purpose of financial strength, turn over of the parent company will also be considered. The Audited Balance sheets/ annual reports in support of above should be submitted along with the bid,” the notification added.

Hardware firms must also show proof of having installed equipment that will be part of this contract such as routers to mobile operators in a minimum of 60 locations, the bid document adds. The deadline for the submission of bids is October 27, 2009.

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Monday, 28 September 2009

CMAG asks CGF to exclude Fiji

The powerful Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) has asked the Commonwealth Games Federation to exclude Fiji from next year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi after the caretaker government failed to present a time schedule for the restoration of democracy in the country.

"In relation to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, consistent with the precedent of the earlier decision of CMAG, the Group requested the Commonwealth Games Federation to take into serious consideration CMAG's decision in relation to the suspension of the Fiji Islands, in determining Fiji's participation in the Games." the CMAG said in a statement after its meeting in New York yesterday.

Fiji has been fully suspended from the Commonwealth on September 1 this year following its failure to meet the ultimatum to come out with a time schedule to hold credible elections in the country no later than October 2010.

Click here to read our previous articles on this topic.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Melbourne, Victoria gives tips to CWG 2010

Premier of Victoria, John Brumby called on Suresh Kalmadi, the Chairman of Organising Committee of Commonwealth Games 2010 here on Saturday.

Brumby during his visit met the organising committee officials and reviewed the progress of various stadiums and infrastructure projects coming up for the Commonwealth Games. Brumby also shared his experience of holding such sports events.

Melbourne, Victoria hosted the 2006 Commonwealth Games and it was the largest sporting event to be staged in the city after the 1956 Summer Olympics in terms of the number of teams competing, athletes competing, and events held.

Brumby on this occasion on Saturday also wrote a note on the partnership between Melbourne and New Delhi.

Preparations are on in New Delhi for hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Delhi had bagged the games after beating the Canadian city Hamilton in the bid for the games.

Earlier, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Mike Fennell has requested an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the slow pace of work ahead of next year's New Delhi games.

But Union Sports Minister Manohar Singh Gill has expressed confidence that the venues would be ready after visiting the stadiums.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games will be India's first major international sports event after the 1982 Asian Games. New Delhi hosted the inaugural Asian Games in 1951 and again in 1982

Friday, 25 September 2009

Delhi Metro: Delhi-Noida link operational by Dec 2010

Amongst criticism from various sources regarding lack of preparation regarding games, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Friday said its Delhi-Noida section will be operational by the end of 2009. This is important as the Games site is close to the NCR city of Noida.

DMRC also confirmed that the remaining sections of the second phase would be completed by next year with the airport line slated for a September opening ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“The metro on Yamuna Bank to Noida section is likely to start by the first week of December this year. The opening of the section depends on the delivery of trains, which are likely to come by November,” E. Sreedharan, DMRC managing director, told reporters here.

The 13.1 km elevated Yamuna Bank-Noida stretch, with 10 stations, will be an extension of the existing Dwarka Sector 9 to Yamuna Bank section.

Seven trains will be required to open the section which will be made available to the DMRC by the end of November 2009. In the meantime, the DMRC is strengthening 11 cantilever pillars in Noida, on which cracks were observed during safety audits, Sreedharan said.

The DMRC chief was speaking on the occasion of commissioning its new broad gauge train on the Central Secretariat-Jahangirpuri line. Two more new trains by German company Bombardier will be commissioned for the same line in two weeks to ease congestion.

Sreedharan said DMRC’s next priority would be to open the Yamuna Bank-Anand Vihar section by December or January 2010.

Asked about the reason for the delay, Sreedharan said: “Trains were being double checked before delivery so that safety could be ensured.”

This, he said, could be the reason behind some of the delays in opening. “Bombardier has gathered a team of foreign experts to see that the trains are attended and delivered as soon as possible. Of the 83 metro trains procured from the company, 14 have already arrived and the rest will come from the company’s factory near Baroda, Gujarat,” he said.

The much-awaited Noida corridor will be the first metro rail project connecting the NCR. Once operational, it will be the longest line (58 km) of the Delhi metro, directly connecting Dwarka Sector 9 to Noida City Centre in Sector 32.

Adding that the DMRC was “getting ready to open new sections”, Sreedharan said the other line connecting NCR to the Qutub Minar-Gurgaon section would be opened by March 2010.

In addition, work on the Inderlok-Mundka section would be completed by November 2009 and the standard gauge line would be opened by January end or early February 2010.

On the Central Secretariat to Qutub Minar section, station finishing work and fitments were underway and the section would be opened in July 2010, Sreedharan said.

Meanwhile, the Central Secretariat-Badarpur line which was five months behind schedule and suffered a major setback after the July 12 construction site accident would open in August 2010.

Sreedharan also said the last section in phase II - the Airport Express Line - would open in September 2010 and concessionaire Reliance Energy had started installing systems.

The Delhi Metro presently operates three popular lines connecting the northern, central, eastern and southwestern parts of Delhi. Around 950,000 commuters daily use the network, covering a total of 190 km.

Click here to read articles related to Delhi Metro

Commonwealth happy with security arrangements

Several participating nations are so far satisfied with India's security arrangement for the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.

76 officials from 28 countries, mostly security experts attended the Delhi convention. Delegates from Commonwealth countries attended a two-day international security conference ahead of the games where Indian organisers managed to convince them of its capability to host the event and fend off any security threat.

"As of now there is no specific threat to the Commonwealth Games, or to India or to any (participating) countries. By and large, security experts are impressed with security and traffic arrangements," India's home secretary G. K. Pillai told the media Thursday.

India's Home Ministry formed the International Security Liaison Group to coordinate security arrangements, as several participating nations pressured the country to shape up its security for athletes and officials.

"Not a single country said they were not satisfied with our arrangement. Overall they are satisfied with our presentation but they want us to manage the perception of threats being played up in the media," added Pillai.

He said 76 delegates from 28 countries, mostly security professionals, who attended the meeting in Delhi, also assured India that they would share any information on any sort of threat to the Commonwealth Games, which is being held in the Asian region for the second time.

Many countries taking part in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games have so far expressed their satisfaction concerning India’s handling of security arrangements.

Representatives from Commonwealth countries recently were invited to attend a two-day international security conference where Indian game organisers managed to persuade the various delegations that it was capable and competent to offer proper security and fend off any threat which might arise during the event.

India’s home secretary G. K. Pillai told the media at a recent press conference that Indian security authorities were presently not detecting any threat targeting the Commonwealth Games, or to any (participating) countries. He added that in large, international security experts had expressed their approval and satisfaction with security and traffic measures taken so far.

India’s Home Ministry created the International Security Liaison Group in order to oversee security arrangements, as many participating nations have put pressure on India to shape up its security measures surronding officials and athletes.

Mr Pillai added that none of the invited delegates have said they were not contented with the arrangements in place for the games. Overall, the representatives expressed satisfaction with the security presentation but need the security team put in place by the Indian government to manage the perception of terrorist threats being hyped in the media.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

CWG security review: Pakistan absent

Pakistan, skipped the two-day International Security Liaison Conference which was convened to address security-related concerns of the participating nations.

Though Pakistan was expected to send its representative to the conference, which ended on Thursday, it preferred to stay out. Around 76 delegates (security professionals and representatives from high commissions) from other Commonwealth countries attended the meet.

India's Home secretary G K Pillai said though Pakistan did not attend, the government hoped they would participate in future meetings and the Games in full strength.

Copies of the presentation, made by Delhi Police over security preparedness during the two-day conference, will be sent to all countries including Pakistan which is also expected to appoint a nodal officer to coordinate with the International Security Liaison Group (ISLG) on security arrangements for Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010.

Stating that "there is no threat at all as of today" to the Commonwealth Games, the home secretary said the representatives of participating nations who attended the conference were fully satisfied with the security preparedness.

A complete presentation would be given to media on security and traffic some time next week.

NZ to watch CWG at pay-per-view

New Zealanders' decades-long tradition of watching their top athletes compete at the Commonwealth Games on free-to-air television may be over. It was reported today that TVNZ had lost its 40-year grip on broadcasting the Games, to be held in India next year.

Pay television network Sky has apparently secured the rights to the Delhi Games after TVNZ had "thrown in the towel". However, both Sky and TVNZ staying mum this morning.

Sky Television director of communications Tony O'Brien would not field any questions on the broadcasting rights today. "We don't comment on media speculation," he said.

TVNZ corporate affairs spokeswoman Megan Richards could not be reached for comment.

New Zealand Olympic Committee secretary-general Barry Maister is in Ireland, but communications manager Ashley Abbott said the organisation "was not aware of any sale of rights".

MP Jim Anderton, who last year tried and failed to bring in a law to keep "iconic events" free-to-air, said it would be a "sad day" if the Games went to a pay TV network. "There are a lot of people the young, the old and those who can't afford it who are missing out on these iconic cultural events already." Mr Anderton said other countries had so-called "anti-siphoning laws" in place to protect events like the Commonwealth Games.

He said his bid to bring the same law to New Zealand last year, mainly for rugby and cricket tests, failed to get the numbers.

Former Commonwealth Games squash gold medallist Leilani Rorani, of Hamilton, was concerned that the event would be taken away from the public. "Not everyone will be able to watch the Commonwealth Games now. Lots of kids grew up in my generation being able to watch the Games. (They were) inspired because it wasn't pay TV."

Women's hockey team manager Debbie Balme said it would be disheartening to see the Games taken off free-to-air TV. "We're a sport that's trying to get ourselves out there."

Balme said the fact that next year's Games were in India meant that supporters would be hard pushed to make the journey and would be reliant on television coverage.

Commonwealth Games broadcasting rights by 10-Oct

With Commonwealth Games just a year away, the organizers will finalise a broadcaster within 15 days which will telecast the event for it on High Definition (HD) mode.

Prasar Bharati, the host broadcaster for the 2010 Games, had called for bids from international broadcasters to telecast the event earlier this year.

From these, it had shortlisted five companies in July, that had the experience of telecasting sporting events of such magnitude.

These were Swiss-based International Games Broadcast Services, Satellite Information Service Live (UK), Nimbus Sports International Pvt Ltd (Singapore), Nimbus Communications Ltd (Mumbai) in collaboration with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Big Productions of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group.

Doordarshan sources said that with the World Broadcasters Summit scheduled to be held in Delhi on October 26, Prasar Bharati wants to finalise one broadcaster from the shortlisted five within 15 days, which would telecast the games in HD format for it.

Designer dresses for Delhi's Autowallahs

During Commonwealth Games next year, auto drivers in Delhi may appear in new uniforms, designed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology, embossed with a logo.
Dressing Delhi for 2010 Commonwealth GamesThese specially designed uniforms will be provided to the auto drivers after a three-day training program devised by Ministry of Tourism in coordination with the Delhi Traffic Police and Indian Tourist Transporters Association (ITTA).

Around 8,000 auto drivers will be taught manners and etiquettes under a pilot program to be undertaken by Tourism Ministry. It will commence from the first week of October, informed a Senior Ministry Official.

The licensing department of Delhi police will keep the record of all the trained auto drivers with the biometric identification of finger print impression and photograph as a security measure.

ITTA president Mr. Sarabjit Singh said that the association is in talks with the NIFT to design new uniform for the trained auto drivers in order to make them look distinguished.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Kalmadi meets Prime Minister

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Suresh Kalmadi today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh amid mounting concerns about the tardy pace of preparations for next year's Commonwealth Games here.

The meeting assumes significance as preparations for the Games, scheduled in October next year, have been criticised by the Commonwealth Games Federation chief Mike Fennell in a letter to the organising committee. Fennell has also sought a audience with Prime Minister to discuss Delhi's preparations.

In a damning report on the capital's preparations, the CGF has feared that the Games could end up being a partial failure.

A defiant Kalmadi has, however, maintained all along that the city would be ready to host the event despite admitting that Fennell's letter has served as a wake-up call.

Even Delhi's chief minister Sheila Dikshit has conceded to being nervous about the Games' build-up.

Delhi needs civic lessons

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday called for a behavioural change among the Capital’s citizens ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games to be hosted by the city next year.

Mr. Chidambaram said that in the past many years and again as the Union Home Minister now he had not noticed any change in the behaviour of Delhiites.

“You cannot expect mega-city policing unless people also change their behaviour,” he said at a function organised in Sunlight Colony here to mark the opening of 22 newly-created police stations across the Capital.
It is not uncommon to see vehicles jumping red lights, having registration plates flouting norms. Also you can easily find people crossing roads where they should not, people not using overhead walk-paths or underground walk-paths.

Emphasising that the behaviour of the Capital’s citizens must change for the better as in barely twelve months from now the city would be hosting the Commonwealth Games, the Home Minister said Germany went through a process of behavioural change for over two years before the country was prepared for World Cup football. Similarly China launched a massive educational programme to bring about behavioural change among the people before the Beijing Olympics.

Mr. Chidambaram said those coming to Delhi from other places in the country must accept the discipline of living in a big city that was also the Capital. “We are not living in a countryside; we are not living in a pastoral area. We are living in a city. Therefore, we must behave as the citizens of a big city,” he asserted.

Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said her government was taking initiatives to change the way people behaved.

Monty Panesar to participate in Queen's Baton Relay

England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar's Indian roots have earned him the honour of being a part of the October 29 Queen's Baton Relay to launch next year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Panesar's former agent Vic Sethi, who is a member of the UK launch arm of the organising committee, said the left-armer was chosen to add an Indian flavour to the much-awaited ceremony at the Buckingham Palace.

"We thought that someone from the UK was needed because the Queen, the head of the Commonwealth is British; we needed a link to India. I think Monty was perfect because he is one of the first British Sikh sports stars to wear the turban and the full beard," Sethi was quoted as saying by the local media.

The baton will be carried from the palace on an international journey before finally touching down Delhi next year.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Hosting Games and healing Souls

Ayurvedic and Medical Tourism industries will benefit from 2010 Commonwealth Games as the industry is expected to fetch Rs. 800 crore of revenue during the glaring event, according to The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

According to Chamber, domestic ayurvedic industry market which is currently estimated at Rs. 3000 crore will go up to over Rs. 5000 crore in next 2 years in view of rising demand for ayurvedic therapy and products. This is due to the fact that major hospital chains in Delhi, NCR and Northern Region as also ayurvedic/spa centres are gearing up to attract large number of visitors and generate maximum revenue.

States like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and even UP, ayurveda/spa and medical tourism centres will also contribute in its growth, which is currently dominated by Kerala and Karnataka, feels the Chamber.

In a Paper brought out by the ASSOCHAM on 'Opportunity for Ayurvedic & Medical Tourism during CWG', it has been predicted that ayurvedic industry would alone earn a business of Rs. 500 crore and revenues prospects for medical tourism are predicted for estimated amount of Rs. 300 crore.

The job opportunities that would arise for professionals of these two promising industries are projected for 40,000 people, said Mr. D S Rawat, ASSOCHAM Secretary General while releasing the estimates. Mr. Rawat pointed out that the ASSOCHAM estimates are based on the assumption that over 1800 athlete participation would be bare minimum for 2010 commonwealth games in variety of sporting disciplines and tourist arrivals for the people is projected for 6-7 lakh overseas visitors. The countries of which maximum outflow of tourists would emerge include UK, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore, Sri Lanka etc. and over 4 lakh domestic tourists from.

The Chamber paper hoped that keeping in view of India’s ancient tradition of ayurveda and its low-cost medical tourism facilities, apart form UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka a large number of outside visitors from aforesaid countries would like to take advantages of domestic ayurvedic and medical tourism facilities/resorts.

The Chamber estimates reveal that each foreigner visiting India during Commonwealth games is likely to spend Rs.10,000 to Rs. 35,000/- in availing ayurvedic expertise in various spa and herbal centers.

While, the medical tourism spending will be higher between Rs. 40,000-Rs.1,20,000 in view of cardiac surgery, bone marrow transplant, etc., bulk of tourists will spend in ayurveda and related treatments, said Mr. Rawat.

Based on enquiries received by the ASSOCHAM through its various workshops and seminars, various players in the hospitality industry based on Delhi, NCR, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are proposing to set up over 200 ayuveda, spa and herbal centres to provide possible comforts to tourists and athletes that gathered during the period.

The export potential of ayurveda is currently pegged at Rs 12,500 crore and approx. 20,000 units are involved in this field and the main players include Dabur, Himalayas, Zandu, Baidyanath. In India, there are approx. 380,000 registered medical practitioners of the ayurvedic system as compared to about 700,000 modern medical system.

The reputed private hospitals in Delhi and NCR like Fortis, Moolchand, Sir Ganga Ram, Apollo, Noida Medicare, Metro, Dharmshila, Max etc. can tap the large inflow of medical tourism. Better connectivity from the games villages and hotels in Delhi will also pave the way for these hospitals to contribute the medical tourism sector. For the last several years, Apollo and Escorts have treated over 1 lakh foreign patients.

Currently, the medical tourism market in India is estimated to be worth over US $ 300 million with approx. 170,000 foreign patients coming in every year and expected to grow into a US $ 2 billion business by 2012 with advantages of low-cost medical and surgery treatment compared to US and EU.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Delhi metro to provide better facilities

Delhi Metro is undergoing a change in order to improve the travelling conditions for its commuters. Ranked already as world-class transport system, Delhi Metro wants to improve the services further.

Metro launched in Delhi a few years back has become the main transport service provider. With around 70 Kms operational, government is planning to add another 100 kilometers within next one year.

The new trains brought for Phase II have several improved features like CCTV cameras with eight-hour backup for added security, charging points in all coaches for cell phones and laptop, improved air-conditioning to provide a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius even in packed conditions and heaters for winter. The present trains only have ACs.

With the network spreading, the new trains will have external display boards indicating the final destination stations and digital route maps on each door inside train with lights to indicate the present station, route covered and final stop for all trains in different colored lights. The noise levels in trains will be reduced and the lighting will also automatically get adjusted as the trains enter and exit tunnels during the day to save power.

Even mechanically, the trains have smoother braking, better acceleration and a higher maximum operational speed of 85 kmph, compared to the present 80 kmph. An insulation mat has been provided on the roof to prevent sparking and tripping caused by strings of kites. The trains also have a better Train Control Management System.

Delhi Metro commuters can expect relief from the "crushed dense load" conditions in packed trains. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), on Tuesday, got the nod from commissioner of railway safety for new trains manufactured for Phase II. Of these, 13 full train sets of four cars each have already been delivered to DMRC depots and are in the final stages of testing. These will first be put on Line 2 (Central Secretariat to Jehangirpuri) and then Line 3 (Dwarka sector 13 to Anand Vihar/Noida).

The 13 trains, which have already come, have been stabled at Khyber Pass and Yamuna Bank depots. Of these, two trains will be added on Line 2 by October, another 3 trains to Line 3 by November. Eight trains are needed for the Noida line. All these will be four-car train sets and Delhi Metro will introduce the first six-car train set in May 2010.

With Phase II of operations scheduled to start by next year, and the Metro ridership reaching an expected 2 million, the corporation had ordered 424 coaches of broad gauge for 83 trains, 37 with four-cars (coaches) and 46 with six-cars which can carry 1178 and 1792 commuters in "dense load" and "crushed dense load" conditions respectively.

Green Games: Will use recycled paper

Taking a step further in their efforts to conduct a Green Commonwealth Games next year, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Wednesday announced that recycled paper and stationery will be used for official work during the event. “We are all out to make Commonwealth Games as Green Games. We would like to ensure only recycled paper, stationery and material be used during the game and this would be applicable in respect of functions, events and offices,” Dikshit told reporters here.

She was speaking at a workshop on ‘Ozone Layer Depletion and Climate Change’ earlier this week, organised by the environment department on the occasion of World Ozone Day.

“There is a need to work without ozone depleting substances and appliances. In case the ozone layer actually gets depleted, increased penetration of ultraviolet radiation will have profound impact on all living creatures including human and plant life,” she said.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

CWG: England targets #1 spot by 2014

England Commonwealth Games chairman Sir Andrew Foster has set a target for England to regain its glory at Commonwealth Games. He insists it is high time England ended Australia's medal table dominance.

Australia have dominated the medal table since 1990, and finished the 2006 Melbourne Games with 84 golds, more than twice as many as England. While setting the target, Sir Andrew clarifies that Delhi may come too soon and England will be on top at Glasgow in 2014.

With Olympic Games, Rugby World Cup, Cricket World Cup and Ryder Cup coming to UK in the next decade, and England favourites to secure the 2018 FIFA World Cup; it is fair to say the Commonwealth Games will be fighting for the headlines.

The Commonwealth Games has traditionally played second fiddle to the Olympic Games in Great Britain - with Team GB's 19 golds in Beijing far outweighing England's 36 in Melbourne. But Sir Andrew maintains that Commonwealth Games England are more than capable of holding their own and securing commercial backing to ensure future success. GB sports have done a lot of work on remodelling and the level of interest from potential commercial sponsors is reassuring. Foster points out that sponsors see the fact that you can run from Delhi to London to Glasgow - and having a number of events feels like a positive to them rather than a hindrance.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Damage control exercise on..!!

Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy, Delhi Cheif minister Shiela Dikshit and Organizing Committee Chief Suresh Kalmadi were quick to react to Commonwealth Games Federation Chief's concern that Delhi Commonwealth Games may be a partial failure.

In a letter to the local organizing committee, Fennell said that the current situation and delays in preparing for the Games poses a serious risk to the event. The letter expressed worry whether the event in India will match the standards set by the last two cities to host them - Manchester in 2002 and Melbourne in 2006.

Within hours of Fennell calling Prime Minister's intervention Jaipal Reddy said that preparations for the Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi were on track. Speaking on the topic, Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit said India's pride is involved with the Commonwealth Games success. She said the progress is being monitored on a weekly basis and all concerns in this regard are of little consequence at this stage. Earlier on Monday, the chief minister had accepted that preparations at some venues in the capital are behind schedule.
Indian officials are expressing confidence the country will successfully host an international sports event scheduled for next year after the Commonwealth Games Federation warned the event could collapse due to lack of preparation. The Commonwealth Games will be the most high-profile sporting event to be staged in India since 1982. Officials also point to the several alarms sounded about preparations before the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece, which were staged successfully.

But despite that assurance, officials admit India will have to race against time to successfully host the Games, because much of the work is behind schedule. A government report has said work on 14 of the 19 sports venues, that are to be built for the Games, is running late. So are nine transport projects meant to improve the city's infrastructure.

Meanwhile, The Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly is due to meet in New Delhi early next month to assess the work a year ahead of the October 2010 games.

Fennell's concerns: India calls it false alarm..!!

Indian government officials have responded that Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Michael Fennell has referred to a four-month old Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report while raising concerns over Delhi Commonwealth Games preparations.

Fennell shot off a letter to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) yesterday to seek the intervention of the Prime Minister in the organization of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

A top official of the organising committee said that the CAG report had details of last year's preparation but development work including construction of venues and organisation have improved rapidly in the last few month. He claimed that the organizers have done well in all aspects of organisation and the venues will be ready well before the Commonwealth Games start.

The official said that better co-ordination between the organising committee, which is being headed by IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi, and the government would have avoided such situation. Kalmadi will meet sports minister MS Gill and will give him a detailed update on the development work of the Commonwealth Games.

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Monday, 14 September 2009

Delhi government showcasing preparations

In a move that will showcase the government’s preparedness to host the Commonwealth Games, realty company Emaar MGF will complete 32 flats next month in the Commonwealth Games village project, located in east Delhi.

A senior urban development official who did an assessment of the Games village project on August 17 said the flats which needed to be completed 'early' were on track. “Officials from the Commonwealth committee will stay in those flats to find out whether those adhere to the required standards or not,” he said on the condition of anonymity.

When contacted, Emaar spokesperson said that Tower No 9 comprising 32 apartments of 3 and 5 bedroom configuration will be ready by October 2009 for a complete dry run of the fit outs and operations.

According to an urban development ministry estimate, 56% of the Games village project was completed till mid-August, and it would be fully completed by April, 2010.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

CGF presses panic button

Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell has warned New Delhi that delays in its preparations for the 2010 Games are putting the success of next year's event in jeopardy.

Fennell was reported on Sunday to have written to Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the local organizing committee, for urgent actions in order to bring about the successful celebration of the games in 2010.

Commonwealth Games Federation has expressed concerns that unless there is significant change in the management culture and operation of the organizing committee these Games will fail from an operational perspective.

This comes after a CGF report which predicted a partial failure of the event scheduled for Oct. 3-14, as most venues are lagging behind construction deadlines. The report said it was reasonable to conclude that the current situation poses a serious risk to the
Commonwealth Games in 2010 .

Fennell wrote: "The CGF is extremely worried about the organizing committee's ability to deliver the games to any comparable standard to that of the last two editions of the Games in Manchester and Melbourne."

The CGF chief has requested Indian Prime Minister to pitch in and ensure that the preparation are brought back on track. He hopes to discuss the delays with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a visit to New Delhi next month for the federation's general assembly.

The games are set to be the biggest multiple-sport event staged in India since the 1982 Asian Games. They feature 71 nations and territories that comprised or were linked to the old British empire.

3-Tier security ring for Commonwealth Games

Security arrangements to ensure tourist safety during 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games More than 150,000 policemen, continuous aerial surveillance, about 2,000 closed-circuit cameras and latest security gadgets would be employed for extensive three-tier security ring that the Indian government has planned for 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Briefing the heads of missions of all Commonwealth countries on
security arrangements for the sports event next October, the government said there was no specific threat to the Games but every precaution was being taken to make it incident-free. This includes taking adequate precaution even for tackling chemical or biological attacks, the organisers told the missions.

The diplomats were told that every vehicle meant for athletes would be put through an anti-sabotage test every morning while each of 23 venues would be completely sanitised seven days ahead of an event, Home Secretary G K Pillai said.
Dedicated lanes for vehicles carrying athletes and officials will be created with helicopters keeping an eye on all venues and routes, it was announced.
He said besides 80,000 Delhi Police personnel, the government will requisition services of an equal number of cops drawn from the central police organisations and state police forces. Besides the venues, all major locations in Delhi would be brought under the cover of CCTVs, Pillai said.

"We have two major sporting events before the Commonwealth Games-the World Hockey Championship and the World Swimming Championship," he said. "We will make a test run of the entire security arrangements during these two events."

Security for Commonwealth Games would also be one of the main points for discussion during the three-day biannual conference of police chiefs of all states scheduled for next week.

The home secretary said it was important to tighten
security across the country, considering that many athletes and visitors were expected to utilise the occasion to travel to important tourist places.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Asafa Powell uncertain for Commonwealth Games

Former 100-metres world record holder Asafa Powell is still uncertain as whether he will defend his Commonwealth Games title, but the sprinter is not ruling out the possibility.

Powell, a back-to-back World Championships bronze medallist over the 100m, won the event at the last Games in Melbourne, Australia in 2006 and is seen as a strong contender to defend his crown in New Delhi, India next year. His participation, however, is still tentative as he wouldn’t commit to running at the event.

"We’re not sure about all the plan for next year," said Powell, who was a member of the Jamaican team that dominated the sprints at the last Games. But I’m always looking forward to run," said the man who has a personal best of 9.72seconds and a record of 57 for times faster then 10-seconds over the 100m.

Powell’s fellow countryman and world record holder Usain Bolt is also hoping to race at the Games, but will leave all the decisions to his coach Glen Mills. Bolt, who dominated the 100m and 200m with world record performances at the Beijing Olympics and Berlin World Championships, missed the last event because of an injury, but said after sweeping the sprints in Berlin, that he would love to race in India.

Bolt and Powell were key-members of the Jamaican 4×100m relay teams that won gold medals in Beijing and Berlin. The Jamaicans ran a world record time of 37.10seconds to win in Beijing and 37.32secs to win in Berlin.

The Games will run from 3–14 October 2010, and will be the first time India will be hosting the event. This is also the second time the event has been held in Asia, with Kuala Lumpur in 1998, being the first.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Sponsors required for Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt at Commonwealth Games
Commonwealth Games organisers are seeking an Indian sponsor to try to encourage Usain Bolt to commit himself to the event in New Delhi next year. The Jamaican, the world record holder for the 100 and 200 metres, has so far kept his schedule for 2010 under wraps but officials hope that a big Indian company would guarantee his participation.

Officials believe that in a country with the 12th biggest economy in the world, along with China, the fastest growing – the triple Olympic and world champion would be an attractive brand ambassador for a major Indian firm. It remains to be seen if any of Indian companies share their view and find it worthwhile to take the plunge. So far, the International sports good companies have promised quite a lot regarding India's growth story but have failed to deliver when it comes to making commitment to the market. This can be attributed to their lack of understanding of the market dynamics, and also to the fact that Indian customers are extremely price sensitive.

The super star said at the World Championships in Berlin last month that he hoped he would be able to compete at Commonwealth Games in the Indian capital due to begin on October 3, 2010. A final decision will be taken after consultation between the star and his coach and training staff.

Click here  to watch Usain Bolt's WORLD RECORD setting run at Berlin World Championships.

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Tuesday, 8 September 2009

CWG command centre inaugurated

M.S. Gill, Union Minister for Youth Affaire & Sports, formally opened the Headquarters of the Organizing Committee of 2010 Commonwealth Games today.

The swanky trapezium shaped nine-storey New Delhi City Centre building on Parliament Street is already abuzz with activities.The building built by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) will be the “nerve centre” of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The headquarters of the Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee (OC) will function from here till the event is over. All the logistics of the Games will be monitored and controlled from here.

The interior of the building has motifs of the Games imprinted on walls. The interiors of this uniquely shaped building showcases an amalgamation of tradition and technological advancement. The interiors complement contemporary design element with usage of indigenous, eco-friendly and traditional materials.

While the ground floor of the building will have a souvenir shop and travel desk, the different floors will house departments handling different aspects of the event— volunteer programme, media centre, security and administrative units among others. The building is spread over nine floors and will accommodate a workforce of over 1,200 The Organizing Committee is shelling out rent of Rs 5.6 crore every month to NDMC. After the Games, NDMC will shift its own headquarters here.

CWG impact: Delhi to rate restaurants

Delhi's restaurant rating program to be launched before 2010 Commonwealth Games
In a first of its kind move, the government will soon start rating all food establishments, including small and medium eateries, restaurants, dhabas, takeaway joints and fruit dispensing outlets on parameters of safe and hygienic food.

The project `Safe food, tasty food' to be implemented in time for 2010 Commonwealth Games, will grade restaurants and food establishments (gold, silver or bronze) in the capital to start with, so that consumers can make informed eating choices.
The proposed grade or logo will be displayed by the establishment which decides to be part of the project conceptualized by the Food and Safety Standards Authority of India.
Broad structure, parameters and auditing mechanism for holding food establishments accountable for acceptable levels of safety and quality are put in place. This will also result in improved quality as establishments will have to meet parameters to be rated higher.

Through this project, the government hopes to cover even outlets and shops serving unlabelled pre-packaged sweets, baked and confectionery products.
The project, which is a voluntary exercise will be implemented with the help of local bodies (like Municipal Corporation of Delhi), NGOs, food establishment owners and food and health regulatory authorities. A directory of the restaurants and eateries that have been rated will also be published. Restaurants and establishments including caterers will be rated on parameters including raw material, water, preparing and processing food, personal hygiene, handling and storage, vending/selling, environment, cleaning, waste disposal and pest control.

Food business operators will have to ensure that they produce, sell and distribute safe and hygienic food and their premises are also clean and comply with norms. In case their food, services or premises fail in any of the criteria, the operator would need to take action unlike earlier when the inspector had a major role in ensuring food safety.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Queen's Baton Relay on 29-Oct

The Queen’s Baton Relay, a traditional event that has launched every Commonwealth Game since 1958, will be held next October 29 at Buckingham Palace in London.

Apart from the visiting Indian President, other dignitaries expected to attend the ceremony include Prince Philip, Commonwealth Games Federation President Michael Fennell and the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Delhi Games, Suresh Kalmadi. Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra will be the first athlete to run with the baton, a high-tech stick that will contain a digital camera, a GPS and a Queen’s message to athletes engraved on a gold leaf.

The baton will be carried to the Queen Victoria Memorial and The Mall in central London, followed by a colorful parade of performers, before making its way to Trafalgar Square, where a grand finale will showcase Indian culture.
The baton will then traverse the length and breadth of the Commonwealth for 240 days, visiting all of the other 70 nations and territories, before entering India for a 100-day national tour.

By the end of this epic journey, it will have traveled for 340 days and covered more than 190,000 km, passing through the hands of thousands of individuals across land, air, sea and on many different modes of transport – from bicycle and boat to hot air balloon, steam train and even an elephant.

The journey will include some of the most remote places in the Commonwealth such as St. Helena – accessible only by boat – and the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.

The baton will enter India from the Attari border with Pakistan June 25 before starting on a journey of 28 States and seven Indian Union Territories, covering a distance of over 20,000 km.

The relay will end at the opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium October 3, where athletes will be read out the Queen’s message, engraved on a miniature 18-carat gold leaf representing the ancient Indian ‘patra’.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Commonwealth Games Logo

2010 Commonwealth Games Logo. Come out and play
Logo of 19th Commonwealth Games to be held in Oct 2010 in Delhi is inspired by Ashok Chakra, India's national symbol of freedom, unity and power. The Chakra spiralling upwards apparently depicts the growth of India into a proud, vibrant nation.

As the Chakra emerges, you can also see the the elements in the Charkra turn into people, which represent everyone involved in the games from the athletes, organizers and the host nation. The games also are going to promote a "Green" theme which may be why the Chakra ends in green.

The tagline of the logo is “Come Out and Play”. The tag line depicts zeal and zest, and vitality in the lives of people, encouraging them to join the excitement of fun and activities. The CWG logo strives to express the core values of the Commonwealth itself, which seeks to unify humanity, promote equality and give all athletes a chance to realise their destiny at the Commonwealth Games.

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