CWG: Hockey stadium set to miss deadline

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New Delhi:  With just 53 days to the Commonwealth Games, the big worry is will all the stadia be ready for the event. One look at the Shivaji Stadium in New Delhi's Connaught Place, and one would never believe the Games are less than two months away. (Also Read: CWG: Merchandise partners to pull out?)

The main lights seem to be the only things that look world-class in the Shivaji Stadium. The stadium in the heart of the city will be used for hockey practice during the Commonwealth Games, and work was supposed to be completed by June 30.

A court case delayed the renovation of the Shivaji Stadium till March 2009. Now the deadline is the end of August. But, the place is littered with construction materials and debris does not inspire confidence.

The seating has not been installed, the pitch has not been laid and even the facade isn't in place yet. But with the construction clearly incomplete and the roadscaping clearly insufficient, the August 31 deadline seems overambitious. (Read: Sheila does a debris check around Delhi)

NDTV wasn't allowed to enter the stadium.

"We've been asked to not let the media enter the stadium. The order came on Monday," said a guard.

The NDMC has made assurances that everything was on target for the end of the month. These targets include:

•    World class Hockey ground, with synthetic surfaces and a warm-up area

•    Multi-level parking lot that can park 1500 vehicles

•    Five storey facility block including changing rooms, physio rooms etc

•    Road development around the stadium, expansion and beautifying

Shivaji Stadium was one of the names on the CVC report for irregularities in awarding tenders, and jacking up costs, but the New Delhi Municipality says that all tests have been conducted to CVC's satisfaction.

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