1. Games village to have prayer rooms for athletes of all faiths:
By Azera Rahman
New Delhi, March 29 (IANS)
The Commonwealth Games village in east Delhi, where athletes will be staying during the games in October, will have a special building with prayer rooms for all faiths. This, officials said, will give the athletes a space and option to pray and meditate - crucial for a peaceful mind during the taxing days.
The Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games is in talks with the head priests and management officials of different religious places in Delhi for voluntary service during the games.
"We are in talks with the Akshardham temple, the India Islamic Cultural Centre, a few gurudwaras and other religious places for volunteers to conduct prayer services in the prayer rooms during the games," Jiji Thomson of the Organising Committee told IANS.
"We don't want any religious preaching to be done. The aim behind this initiative is to give the athletes an option to pray and meditate if they want to. Prayers have a healing power to soothe frayed nerves," he added.
The building will, however, be a temporary structure.
"It will be a structure with partitions so that the space is divided into prayer rooms for different faiths like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Sikhism. It will however be a temporary structure," Thomson said.
With all the construction work expected to be wrapped up by June, it's non-stop work at the massive 63.5 hectare village at the moment.
Nestling close to the Akshardham temple and at a walking distance from the Akshardham metro station, the village has 34 towers with 1,168 flats - two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom-hall-kitchen types.
"The flats where the athletes will be staying are equipped with latest technology from flat screen television sets to a well equipped kitchenette. Also, the flats are disabled-friendly - the bathrooms for instance have handles near the toilet for the benefit of a wheelchair-bound person,"
2. Go green, pay for carbon footprint during Games:
By Richa Sharma
New Delhi, March 25 (IANS)
Driving, flying or home energy use, many innocuous everyday activities contribute to global warming. But now you can pay for your carbon footprint and redeem yourself during the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
As part of the first 'green' Games, the organising committee has decided to set up carbon neutrality kiosks at the Games Village and six venues where people can buy carbon credits to neutralise the harmful environmental effect of their activities.
"The initiative will help neutralise carbon dioxide emissions during the Games," CWG organising committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot told IANS, explaining the work undertaken by General Environment and Sustainability Division (GESD).
"A customised travel footprint calculator will be installed at these kiosks where people can come and calculate the carbon emission during their travel from their home to the Village or venues."
An estimated 100,000 to 150,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases will be emitted during the Oct 3-14 Games. The organisers committee will motivate athletes, delegates, spectators and others to offset their carbon footprint by investing in clean energy projects.
Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon emitted by an activity.
"Those interested can offset an equivalent amount of emission by investing in clean development mechanism projects," he said.
The basic idea of carbon offset is to figure out your personal contribution to the global warming from activities such as driving, flying or home energy use. Carbon offsets help you take personal responsibility for the environmental consequences of your activities.
The organizing committee has written to a few carbon credit selling companies in the country to come and set up their kiosks.
"It will be a one-stop shop where people can offset their carbon footprints by investing in clean sources of energy like hydroelectric, nuclear or wind," added Bhanot's colleague in GESD.
According to the World Bank, India is the second largest seller of carbon credits, after China. The global carbon credit market is estimated to grow to a whopping $100 billion this year, in which India could emerge as one of the largest beneficiaries with as much as a 25-percent share.
A host of Indian companies, both state-run and private sector ones, deal in carbon credits. The Delhi Metro, for example, which will ferry athletes and visitors during the Games, is expected to earn 400,000 carbon credits over a 10-year period, beginning December 2007, for its clean mode of transport.
3. Green and hi-tech, stadium is Games showpiece:
By Richa Sharma
New Delhi, April 1 (IANS)
It's one of the greenest sporting arenas in the world. The Thyagaraj Stadium for the Delhi Commonwealth Games boasts of it all, from glass glazing for insulation to energy saving light fixtures to water conserving plumbing.
Built from scratch at a cost of Rs.300 crore (Rs.3 billion/$65 million) and slated to open Friday, it is the most talked about venue for the Oct 3-14 event. With retractable chairs, disabled-friendly signages and ramps, and folding doors with fire sensors, it is as state-of-the-art as it gets.
It took nearly three years for the public works department (PWD) to construct the multi-disciplinary games stadium spanning an area of 16.5 acre with a seating capacity of 5,000. The stadium also has a practice track for athletics, three tennis clay courts and two grass courts.
"We have made all efforts to minimise the carbon footprint of the building," Amit Kumar, executive engineer with PWD, told IANS.
"From solar- and gas-based power generating systems to rainwater harvesting and an effluent treatment plant, several environment-friendly technologies have been used."
Designed by famous Australian sports architecture firm Peddle Thorp, the stadium has an Integrated Building Management System for energy efficiency.
It has been built using 28 lakh (2.8 million) fly ash bricks and all the brick walls have cavity in between - effective for thermal insulation and acoustics, consequently reducing the air-conditioning loss and improving energy efficiency
"The stadium has glass glazing all around the building which will prevent transfer of heat from the atmosphere. The glass used for glazing has very high light transmission and very low heat transfer capacity, thereby increasing energy efficiency," said Kumar, who has been handling the project since beginning.
There is a composite aluminium roofing system with acoustic and thermal insulation properties. The stadium will get power from solar panels and piped natural gas.
"The stadium requires 3.5 MW of energy per day and using our solar power generation system we will be able to generate 1 MW of energy, the largest in the country from a single solar unit. The generated power shall be directly fed to the northern grid and we will get the power from there," he said.
The exhaust smoke generated by the gas turbine is being utilized for air-conditioning by installing a Vapour Absorption Machine (VAM) to run the air-conditioning of the building.
For construction, emphasis was laid on using eco-friendly materials and practices.
The stadium, having three pairs of escalators, has separate entrances for players and VIPs, spectators and media people. There is a basement parking that can accommodate 450 cars. However, it will not be used during the Games for security reasons.
"The venue is disabled-friendly and has three ramps besides visual and audio signages to help visually and hearing impaired people," said Kumar.
The stadium has 10 vertical folding doors attached with fire sensors. "If there is a fire in the stadium, the doors will automatically open and help in mass evacuation."
Another feature, introduced for the first time in the country, is retractable chairs. The system acquired from China will retract the chairs in a few seconds, thus helping in fast evacuation after the games get over.
For water conservation, rain water harvesting is being done in a 16.5 acre area. Besides, rain water from the roof of the stadium will be collected in a tank for horticulture and flushing purposes. The stadium has an Effluent Treatment Plant for sewage treatment.
The changing and rest rooms are fitted with hydrotect tiles, which have a coating of titanium oxide to improve air quality inside toilets.
With so many eco-friendly initiatives, the authorities have already begun the process of acquiring LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green certification.
"We are applying for the platinum rating, the highest level for any building, he said.
Indo-Asian News Service