Friday, 24 September 2010

CWG organizers adding green touch to venues

New Delhi, one of the greenest cities in the world, is trying to keep up with its green image for the Commonwealth Games.

New Delhi is on its last leg of the Games preparations.With the stadiums ready, the focus has shifted to beautifying the city.

But plans to create a green cover are running behind schedule.

The capital lost thousands of trees to Metro rail construction, flyovers and other Games-related projects.

Now with no time left to re-grow the greens, the government has turned to potted plants from nearby states, for an instant greening of the Games' venues.

So far, around a million potted plants have been used.

New Delhi Municipal Corporation horticulture director Subhash Chandra said: "We are planting herbs, shrubs, herbaceous plants, foliage plants, ground cover and shrubs to enhance the greenery part during the Commonwealth Games and perennials that can last five to six years".

At the same time, the Games Organisers too, are eager to leave a green footprint.

For example, the Thyagaraj stadium, which will host the netball event, generates its own electricity, using gas turbines and solar panels.

It also harvests rainwater, and is designed to keep the inside temperature cool.

Head of Thyagaraj Sports Complex O.P Bhatia said: "Thyagaraj stadium is the greenest stadium in the world.

"It doesn't leave any carbon footprint. We have the solar panel, and we have our own turbines. Whatever electricity we produce and the vapours we release, we use it for air-conditioning.

"Even our flooring is made from the rags and leftover (material)".

Even the Games mascot Shera is promoting the green drive.

A statue of Shera, made of 250,000 polythene bags, stands tall in New Delhi .

As part of the city's "say no to plastic bags" campaign, people are reminded by the mascot to use cloth or jute bags instead.

Delhi is the greenest metro city in India with more than 20 per cent area under forest and tree cover.

In the last two decades, its green cover has grown ten folds.

For every tree cut, the New Delhi government has made it compulsory to plant 10 saplings in its place.

Even though a lot of trees have been cut for Commonwealth Games projects, in the next few years, New Delhi is hoping to gain back its greenery.


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