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New Delhi bids for the 2014 Asian Games

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Evaluation Committee for the 2014 Asian Games on Saturday expressed "satisfaction" with Delhi's bid.

The five-member delegation concluded its two-day visit [of ‘site checks’ and meetings with top officials, ranging from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,] with Celso Dayrit and his team giving encouraging signals for Delhi's bid. Mr. Dayrit, a veteran sports administrator from the Philippines, said "we are overwhelmed with the presentations and the unity shown by the stake holders in their effort to get back the Asian Games."

The South Korean city, Incheon, is the only other contender for the 17th edition of the Games

Natalya Sipovich, a member of the delegation, wished Delhi success in its bid and said it would benefit people of the city to improve their style of living. "I can see there is a vision among the people," she said. The President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Suresh Kalmadi, said "It has been a long time since we hosted the Games and we do have a claim. It is not the city but the country that is backing this bid. We have the venues and infrastructure ready to successfully host the Games in 2014," he said.

From: OCA satisfied with Delhi's bid, Special Correspondent, The Hindu, 12 11 06

More at: The Hindu

Natalia Sipovich said, “The hospitality extended to us in New Delhi was warm. I wish Delhi big success.” It brought smiles on the faces of Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi and Secretary General Randhir Singh, who is also the Secretary General of the OCA.

Celso Dayrit, however, raised certain issues concerning sponsorship. “We need certain assurances (from the Government) relating to sponsorship, as it involves corporates from India and abroad,” he said.

Randhir Singh was quick to respond that it was not a difficult issue to handle.

From: Delhi on course to land 2014 Asian Games, S Kannan, Hindustan Times, 7 11 06

More at: Hindustan Times

New Delhi regeneration: Demolition of Banuwal Nagar, 2006. Amita BaviskarDemolition of Banuwal Nagar, 2006. Amita Baviskar

As London gentrifies its way toward the 2012 Olympics, social cleansing and riverine renewal proceed in parallel but more brutal form in Delhi. In preparation for the Commonwealth Games in 2010 the city's slum dwellers are being bulldozed out to make room for shopping malls and expensive real estate. Amita Baviskar reports on a tale of (more than) two cities and the slums they destroy to recreate.

For the visionaries of the world-class city, the Commonwealth Games are just the beginning. The Asian Games and even the Olympics may follow if Delhi is redeveloped as a tourist destination, a magnet for international conventions and sports events. However wildly optimistic these ambitions and shaky their foundations, they fit perfectly with the self-image of India’s newly-confident consuming classes. The chief beneficiaries of economic liberalisation, bourgeois citizens want a city that matches their aspirations for gracious living.

The good life is embodied in Singapore-style round-the-clock shopping and eating, in a climate-controlled and police-surveilled environment. This city-in-the-making has no place for the poor, regarded as the prime source of urban pollution and crime. Behind this economy of appearances lie mega-transfers of land and capital and labour; workers who make the city possible are banished out of sight. New apartheid-style segregation is fast becoming the norm.

From: Demolishing Delhi: World Class City in the Making, Amita Baviskar , Mute, 5 9 06

More at: Demolishing Delhi

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