Saturday, August 21, 2010

Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games Venue Pics and update

The Common Wealth Games(CWG) 2010 in Delhi has become "Corruption Wealth Generation (CWG)". What else can you expect when Govt does all the construction? It is extremely sad and unfortunate that despite having extremely good private builders and construction companies in India, none of them were used for the Delhi games venues. Just look at how our highways, airports and ports are expanding and modernizing. It is simply because, private builders together with Govt money, are involving a huge pool of manpower and resources and delivering very good projects. We have operational inefficiencies, but structural inefficiencies are unacceptable. It is the structural inefficiencies which these private ones remove. Imagine Delhi Metro being done by the Govt. They would have never done it. Imagine Hyderabad airport done by the Govt. They would have never done that. While it is true that every project in India cannot be good just because a private builder builds it (There are examples like the Bangalore airport itself - all set to expand now!!)  - Commonwealth games venues are an exception. Here, it was required that the govt from the beginning plan and execute involving private builders. They would have not only provided vision, but also superior materials and good finishing. It is reported that the main venue - JLN Stadium was done after taking inputs from various   people outside India - only God knows how much is this true. 

In 2003, we won the bid and construction started in 2007. For 4 years, other than Delhi Metro, no other construction for CWG was even started. The laziness and negligence plagued the authorities. Why blame the State Govt? The Central Govt should have taken a pro-active approach in ensuring these game venues construction go good. I am astonished how Sonia Gandhi allowed this to happen when her husband (Late Rajiv Gandhi) and mother-in-law (Late Indira Gandhi) delivered a fantastic Asian Games in 1982. Why Manmohan Singh kept quiet and never bothered to monitor how these games venues are being constructed? 21 agencies including Delhi Jal Board, Sewage Board, Public Works Department - all worked clashing with each other. They inflated prices. A 4 lakh equipment was charged 10 lakh and the remaining 6 lakh went into the pockets of these officers. The budget ballooned to 35,000 Crores from a  few hundreds  What a corruption? This scale of corruption....Shame!!! The money was also diverted from Pension schemes, welfare schemes.

The venues - many of them are not complete.  A month ago some of the venues didn't have proper restrooms (under construction), some had false ceiling which was worn out, some had flooring which was worn out - obviously if you put in cheap quality, this is what you get. Some debris is still seen outside. The heavy rains that lashed Delhi affected some of the venues. The water just entered some of them. Some caused leakages and seepage. National prestige is at stake. India seems to have missed the point.

It took the Commonwealth Federation President - Mike Fennell, finally, to say that all venues are fine except cleaning needs to be done in the surroundings and games village (where athletes are going to stay) have to be completed on time. If any task is done at the eleventh hour, it is either incomplete or shabbily done.

I present in this blog the pictures of the venues and wherever possible, the pictures of Guangzhou where 2010 Asian Games are going to be held . THe venues are opened 200 days before and we haven't even finished with less than 60 days to go....What a delinquent attitude...!!!

Dhyan Chand Stadium


Bejing's Hockey Stadium

Karni Shooting Range


Shooting range in China:

R.K. Khanna Tennis Complex


Here's GUANGZHONG Tennis complex

Siri Forts Complex

Badminton, Squash

This one is really beautiful. There have been no issues so far.

S.P. Mukherjee Aquatics

This one has the maximum problems...
The pic below is that of GUANGZHONG

Talkatora Indoor Stadium


Thyagaraja Sports Complex


Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium

Cycling, Gymnastics, Wrestling
2nd largest in Asia and largest indoor stadium in India. It is OCTAGONAL in shape
Gym(14000), Cycling(4000),


The one in China is below:

Gymnastics (very good)

Wrestling Area:
Ludlow Wrestling (outside IG Stadium)

Yamuna Sports Complex

Table Tennis

Could not get proper pictures and it still is getting finishing touches.

And finally, the main Jawarhalal Nehru Stadium - where the opening and closing ceremonies would be held:

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

Opening, closing ceremonies,
Athletes, Lawn bowling, Weightlifting
PTFE (Poly-tetra fluore ethylene) membrane roof largest in Asia.

Look at what GUANGZHONG Main Stadium (below) - It will amaze everyone. I really expected the main stadium where crores of rupees were spent would turn out be something like the one below
(Images: Google, skyscrapercity)

The best part of the Games is that Delhi Metro has made travel much easier. It is all set to complete 200 km by the end of August this year. Delhi also got an airport express link and an international airport. Lots of flyovers, bridges are inaugurated. All the Games venues are well connected by Delhi Metro - something really good !!!

Let's hope we do deliver the games in full spirit...Let India win the highest number of medals.

Here are some numbers at a glance

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Remembering Vajpayee and Indira - The 2 best PM's of the country

Never before I recollect since I took interest in understanding Indian politics, have I felt the need for a strong leader for a weak nation we have become. Maoism, Kashmir valley uprising, internal security issues - many more are crippling India today like never before. We are growing, we are a rising power, our ports, airports, roads have never witnessed growth like this. This will continue. The youth of the country will increase and so will their expectations. On this 64th Independence year, I remember and salute the 2 heroes who continue to inspire me and make me feel proud to be an INDIAN. It is very true that Sardar Patel is the 3rd leader I take great inspiration from.

There is something that strikes the tallest leaders of Indian politics - Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The two sat opposite each other in the Parliament for decades, but always sat on the same side when it came to India. National decisions taken by the 2 leaders signify the fact that India is a democracy where miracles can happen. The spirit of patriotism rekindles even recollecting the toughness the 2 leaders exhibited in terms of crisis after crisis that plagued their rule. It is often said that crisis comes to those who have the capacity to absorb and shine again. The 2 leaders had it and they shined. Their power is required even today for a desperate India seeking to reach the skies.

Even after 63 years of India's independence - the two leaders who are still wanted in the place of the PM post are Indira Gandhi and Vajpayee. (Source). It is true that both leaders have faults and issues - but who is perfect? Perfection is a mirage, excellence is reality. The 2 leaders excelled and the reality is this.

No one can forget the way Indira Gandhi demonstrated the power of India during 6 instances which stand as a testimony that if a leader is strong, any team/nation can win and never see defeat. Indira Gandhi knew and demonstrated one thing - use force if required to protect the integrity of India.

1) The war with Pakistan in 1971 that created Bangladesh - that blow was so strong to Pakistan that from 1971 - 1989 (18 years) - they never looked back at Kashmir (India).
2) The Green and White Revolution that made India self-sufficient in food and milk production. It also ended the help we were getting from the US. Remember, India was called the BEGGING BOWL till we became self-sufficient in food. India is the largest producer of fruits, vegetables and milk in the world.
3) Pokhran Nuclear test in response to sanctions from US. This test was the stepping stone for India becoming a nuclear power.
4) When she crushed terrorism, separatism, fundamentalism. She crushed the anti-India spirit of the Tamils (who wanted a different country), Punjabis (The khalistan movement which wanted a different country)
5) Nationalization of banks which helped our country survive the 2008 economy downturn.
6) When she gave a green signal to make India a rising power in space - the reason why India was able to launch the cheapest (in terms of cost, not quality) moon mission ever undertaken by any country. The below picture is the first rocket launch by India in 1980.
Who can forget how Vajpayee made India strong economically, socially and globally? Today, we credit a lot to Manmohan Singh. The Indian economy became strong only because of the economic policies of a non-economist Vajpayee. It is true that 1991 - Manmohan initiated, but Vajpayee deepened the reforms. Vajpayee knew and demonstrated one thing - take and implement bold decisions even if it comes at the cost of losing power.

Here are 11 instances which make Vajpayee my favorite hero and role model in politics:

1) The famous speech where Vajpayee decided not to take any monetary support even if his government doesn't survive in a vote of confidence. The result vajpayee lost the Parliament confidence, but came with a thumping majority in 1999.
2) Kargil War which India won and made Pakistan the enemy in the eyes of the world.
3) Within the first 30 days of coming in power (could have rested as 40 years or so he was the Opposition leader), he gave full powers to Abdul Kalam to make India a nuclear power. The result: India became very strong and the entire world was alarmed to see how India could do it by fooling the CIA satellites.
4) Made a strong pitch for strengthening the relations with the US. He was the first PM to make a speech showing the power of India in the White House amidst clappings from everyone.
5) How Vajpayee exposed Pakistan in the world's eyes that US began to accept what India taught and 
concluded. No one did a better job than him. He talked about peace and also war at Kargil.
6) In one sitting of Parliament in 1999, he asked his cabinet to clear extremely major policy reforms because of which INDIA GROWTH STORY began - decentralizing Telecom Sector, Creation of Foreign Policy Board that reduced red tapism and allowed entry of FDI that increased to 200 billion $, decentralizing insurance sector and bringing in foreign players, abolishing URBAN LAND CEILING ACT which made land available for all the malls and huge retail surge we see today.
7) Introduced the Golden Quadrilateral Project that not only changed the roadways scene, but also brought in  thousands of jobs, innovation and expertise in the highways - a fact which is very important
8) When India's image was enhanced in the world forums - G8, G-20, New York, UK. Vajpayee has the record of the maximum international tours ever made by an Indian PM. Everywhere he went, India was considered serious and a rising power. All the image of a rising power we see today is because of how Vajpayee portrayed the power of India during his tenure.
9) When Vajpayee solved the Sikkim border dispute with China in a manner that stunned the Congress.
10) How can one forget the time when US imposed sanctions harshly on India and within 6 months Vajpayee got it removed with sheer diplomacy. When it comes to foreign policy none beats Vajpayee.
11) When Vajpayee conducted free and fair elections and Kashmir saw democracy coming in their state for the first time. Their love for India began

If these two leaders were in power today - there would have been no Maoism, there would have been no way China could have had a nuclear deal with Pakistan, there would have never been the problem of states fighting on linguistic lines and most importantly Kashmir valley would not be burning.