Imagine zipping across Delhi, driving through metalled roads (whether over or under ground) across the signature suspension bridge over the Yamuna. Or taking the monorail and even hopping on to the high-capacity bus near your house to get to the nearest Metro station. If you are getting late to office, the skybus will ‘fly’ you to your work in a jiffy. And if you are driving on NH-24, take the 1.7 km long tunnel —the first intra-city one in India _ that will connect you to Lodhi Road in 15 minutes flat.

No, this is not Utopia, but the face of Delhi in future. Come 2010 and the Capital will be a sparkling, new city. Acting as a catalyst in the infrastructure development and environs of the city, the 19thCommonwealth Games to be hosted by India’s Capital have propelled a series of facelift activities _ better connectivity, new sports complex, improved water and power situation, and an overall real estate growth. The Capital will be the second Asian city after Kuala Lumpur to host the Games featuring the erstwhile British colonies. The Malaysian capital held it in 1998.

Urban design experts feel that the infrastructure juggernaut that slowed down after the 1982 Asian Games has again picked up with Delhi winning the bid for hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2010. However, Delhi is not alone in cashing in on the Games’ euphoria. Take Beijing for instance, which is seeing one of the largest construction projects for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Commonwealth Village in Delhi is to be spread over 63.5 hectares just off the National Highway 24, close to the Akshardham Temple. Its strategic location makes other satellite stadiums well within 20-25 minutes while the main ones will be even closer. Apart from the new venues _ an indoor stadium at Yamuna sports complex, a rugby court and an aquatic pool at Delhi University, a squash complex at the DDA Siri Fort Sports Complex and new facilities of lawn bowls and weightlifting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium—that are in the pipeline, as many as 15 sports complexes and stadia which already exist will be refurbished. The Delhi government has been granted Rs 5,200 crore for infrastructure, sports facilities and organising events.

Apart from the Village, the city is also gearing up to accommodate the huge number of tourists that are expected to besiege it in 2010. It is estimated that during the Games, there will be a requirement of approximately 7,000 rooms.

Reliance Industries’ Nettle Farms bought a 13,628 sq metre plot at the Vikaspuri for Rs 286 crore against a reserve price of Rs 145.06 crore.

Apart from the current 7,000 rooms that DDA is looking at, the agency has been advised to construct an additional 1,500 rooms—making it a total of 8,500. The Airports Authority of India has been asked for 2,000 rooms and the Indian Railways 150 rooms. Fourteen sites have been earmarked for the Noida Authority, which would house seven to eight deluxe hotels—providing 4,500 rooms. In addition, Greater Noida has three sites for 1,000 rooms and HUDA has 22 sites in its share to house 4,200 rooms.
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