'It is an honour for Delhi'

Published : Apr 07, 2006 00:00 IST

Chief Minister Sheila Dixit. -

Chief Minister Sheila Dixit. -

Interview with Chief Minister Sheila Dixit.

Chief Minister Sheila Dixit left for Melbourne in the fourth week of March to receive the Commonwealth flame at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in that city on March 26. Before her departure, she spoke of the steps being taken to ensure that the event to be held in Delhi in 2010 is a success. Excerpts from the interview:

What is the significance of the 2010 Commonwealth Games? How would staging them prove beneficial to Delhi?

Well, it is the first time that the subcontinent is hosting the Commonwealth Games. Hence, it is a great honour for Delhi, and the country as a whole. Given that Delhi is the capital of the country, and has been the capital of many kingdoms and empires through the ages, the Games would have tremendous symbolic value. Apart from the obvious symbolism and prestige, the Games will also result in an urban transformation of Delhi, and shall give us the opportunity to upgrade Delhi's infrastructure and make it a world-class city. An upgradation of our infrastructure will also be good for business, and will usher in an economic transformation as well.

Are preparations for the Games on track?

We have delegated responsibilities for the [conduct of the] Games to the relevant authorities. Each department has a specific set of time-bound targets. A lot of work is already under way: flyovers have been constructed, hotels are being prepared, and work on the [Games] village has also been initiated. We are also working on upgrading the existing stadia and the city's transport system.

Recent events have shown that urban transformation is impossible without addressing adequately issues of livelihood and housing. What has your government done in this regard?

Housing is one of our priority sectors. Recent events have highlighted the pressure on land and housing in the city. The government realises that people are forced to live in inadequate shelter owing to non-unavailability of housing.

Which is why we have embarked on an ambitious scheme of building 40,000 houses in the next three or four years.

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