Monday, November 29, 1999

Govt shows the `right way` for marathon, cycling events

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Delhi govt, traffic police had red-flagged Organising Committee's original plan with two stadiums, four hospitals en routeWith only a little over three months left for the Commonwealth Games, the route for the marathon and cycling events drafted by the Games Organising Committee (OC) has been changed.The original route had come under fire from both the Delhi Traffic Police and the Delhi government as it had two stadiums and four hospitals falling en route.Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta had also written to the OC, stating either the events should be rescheduled or the venue shifted to Greater Noida. The OC, however, refused to take the event to the suburbs.While the routes were changed recently and made common for both the events, the Delhi government held a high-level meeting on Thursday to discuss the preparedness for both the contests."The route suggested by them (OC) was in a loop, which meant that nobody could enter or exit from either sides, especially in and around India Gate and Connaught Place. It would have affected movement of patients to four hospitals. We could not have taken such a risk," said Ajay Chadha, Special Commissioner (Traffic).As per the original plan drafted by the OC, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Lok Nayak Hospital, GB Pant Hospital and Guru Nanak Eye Centre fell en route to both the events."We could have managed to hold the marathon as the roads would have remained shut only for 3-4 hours. But cycling is a day-long event and this route would have affected not just VIP movement but even athletes headed to SP Mukerjee Stadium and Talkatora Stadium," Chadha added.Originally, the marathon was to begin from Rafi Marg, go towards the C-Hexagon, Lok Nayak Hospital and then Ranjit Singh flyover from where the runners were to go around the circle to complete the required distance.The cycling event was to begin close to Pandit Pant Marg, head to Vijay Chowk then from the Ridge Road it was planned to cut across Simon Bolivar Marg and come on to the Sardar Patel Marg.Now, both the races will begin from Vijay Chowk, head towards Rajpath, turn left to Janpath taking Rajender Prasad Road and will then hit Red Cross before crossing over to the Parliament Street. From here, they will go to Outer Circle and then take a left to come to Barakhamba Road heading straight to Inner Circle. They will take Minto Road from here and then hit Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg. The marathon will end at Ranjit Singh flyover.The government is also working on providing other facilities like food and drinks en route. For security, the route will be dotted with CCTV cameras.While cycling event is on October 10, marathon is scheduled for October 14.New road aheadOriginal Route Marathon — Rafi Marg, C Hexagon, Lok Nayak Hospital and Ranjit Singh Flyover Cycling — Pandit Pant Marg, Vijay Chowk, Ridge Road, Simon Bolivar Marg, SP MargChanged RouteVijay Chowk, Rajpath, Janpath, Rajender Prasad Road, Red Cross, Parliament Street, Outer Circle, Barakhamba road, Inner Circle, Minto Road, Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg

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