pnt pirf 20091105Maxx ImagesDelhi will host the 2010 Commonwealth Games October 3 to 14 in what is the largest multi-sport event ever conducted in India, with an expected two million international travellers and 3.5 million domestic travellers. But all travellers, games-bound or not, will benefit from the upgrades and new building the city is experiencing as it gets ready to host the Commonwealth.

Indira Gandhi International Airport is being modernized, upgraded and expanded to handle the anticipated increase in passenger traffic. Passenger and baggage handling facilities have been upgraded and a new runway, the longest operational runway in Asia, came into service in 2008. Expansion plans include the construction of a new state-of-the-art terminal (T3) with a capacity to handle 35 million passengers per year. It will have 75 aero-bridges, of which nine will be able to handle the operations of A-380 aircraft. The terminal, connected with all types of transport systems, will have an advanced five-level in-line baggage-handling device with explosive-detection technology for efficiency and security. There will be 160 check-in counters for fast clearance and an increased number of immigration counters. The departure complex will be situated on the upper deck of the two-tier building and arrivals will be on the lower deck. The roof of the building will have stylized openings to allow daylight, but it will be angled to protect the interior from direct sunlight.

The airport’s connectivity with the city will be enhanced through a six-lane highway (National Highway 8).

Delhi will have a dedicated Metro line from the airport to the city centre – Connaught Place. The Games Village as well as the main competition venues such as the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and the Indira Gandhi Stadium will be connected through the Metro. The inter-city connectivity as well as passenger capacity will be enhanced. All Metro stations are Wi-Fi enabled.

Finally, a four-lane, 2.2-kilometre underground stretch from Ring Road to Lodhi will link the Games Village to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, reducing travelling time for athletes. Twelve new flyovers and several bridges and under-bridges have been planned to improve road connectivity with the Games Villages, the sports venues, and within the city. Road widening also is in progress. The new eight-lane expressway from Gurgaon to Delhi is open. A total of 1,100 new low-floor, high-capacity air-conditioned buses will be on Delhi roads by 2010 to ease commuting.

One of the legacies of the event will be that it will leave the city much more beautiful and charming. The colonial city centre and Delhi’s main shopping area, Connaught Place, has been given a new façade and is already experiencing a resurgence. Rajpath, the main avenue in Lutyens’ Delhi, is being rejuvenated. The city’s monuments, an integral part of the rich heritage of Delhi’s past, are being cleaned and revitalized.