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Embattled Kalmadi takes scribes around CWG village

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Sat, Sep 25, 2010 13:11 hrs

New Delhi: Stung by criticism of the state of affairs at the Commonwealth Games village, the Organising Committee on Saturday took journalists and some Heads of Missions on a guided tour of the sprawling campus spread over an area of 63.5 hectares.

Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi personally took the delegation around and showcased what he termed as the "best facilities that one can get."

As the delegation walked through the strict security checks from Gate No. 2, next to the Akshardham temple, on the left were the shopping arcades in what is called the 'International Zone'.



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From shops selling handicrafts to music and merchandise, the residents of the Village can be assured of having a great shopping experience within the safe confines of the village.

Not to forget the hair saloon and the gaming zone where one can unwind playing billiards or foosball among others.

Adding to the experience is the open amphitheatre where different cultural events will be held every evening and the musical fountain which is a spectacle in itself especially in the evening with multi-coloured lights switched on.

The International Zone, which is the 'gathering' place within the Village, where athletes and team officials can meet their family, friends and guests also boasts of a bar and a discotheque.

"This is the best place for the athletes to sit and relax after all the practice session. Enjoy the evening with the fountain and cultural programme," a beaming Kalmadi said.

Next, is the Training area, which boasts of facilities that can be used by athletes of four sports - athletics, aquatics, weightlifting and wrestling.

But what really steals the show is the swimming pool covered from top and an eight-lane 400-metre synthetic athletics track besides a well equipped gym.

For those who are not competing in the swimming segment and just want to beat around in the water, there is also a leisure pool.

"I love the training area. It gives all the facilities and I love training here. My aim is to excel in the Games and this is a great place to practice," Indian weightlifting star Monica Devi said.

From the training area, athletes can stroll into the gigantic dining area which can serve a few thousands of people in one go.

"We have all the cuisines in the world. Our effort is to make the athletes feel at home and give them a great dining experience," said Ajay Grover, who heads the catering division at the village.

"At one time, about 2,300 can have their food and we can serve about 36,000 to 40,000 people every day," he said.

Grover was not wrong as Harris Mbulelo Majeke, High Commissioner of South Africa here said, "The food is great. Only one of my favourite dish was missing but the food is lovely. I love it."

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But some minor works were still going on in the the residential which will accomodate the athletes from 71 countries. Though the water-logging had almost come to an end thanks to the bright sunny day, final touches were still being given inside.

"If you want to look at only some of the temporary drawbacks then I can't help. Look at the overall class of the Village which is fantastic," Kalmadi said.

There are a total of 34 residential towers, with 1,168 apartments comprising 4,008 bedrooms which will house the athletes and team officials.

Golf carts are available to travel within the campus,. There is also the internal village shuttle allowing movement around the campus all through the day.







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