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300,000 flowers will blossom in Delhi during Commonwealth Games

By Richa Sharma, IANS,

New Delhi : Colourful and fragrant flowers will make Delhi bloom during the Commonwealth Games next year. Scientists at the Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun are busy developing new species of over 300,000 flowering plants for the games.

The FRI has been entrusted with the job by the Delhi government to make the city look beautiful during the games. India has already declared it will host the first ever green Commonwealth Games (CWG) in 2010.

“We are in the process of developing special species of flowers for the games. We have been given the task of providing over 300,000 potted flowering plants. The work of developing new species of flowers has already started,” S.S. Negi, director of FRI, told IANS over phone.

The institute has selected the species of flowering plants keeping in mind the climatic conditions in the national capital in the month of October, when the games next year are scheduled.

“Our prime focus is to develop species that can flower in a month’s time and stay fresh for long. The work is on at our central nursery in the FRI and we will test the samples in Delhi this year,” Negi said.

The FRI is also developing a bamboo park called ‘bamboo-setum’ near the games village.

“The bamboo park will have more than 75 varieties of bamboo found across the globe. The plantation work has already started in 60 hectares of land just behind the Rajghat in Delhi,” said Negi.

The FRI has also been assigned the task of giving clearance to the green games village being developed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

“The Ministry of Environment and Forests has entrusted the FRI with the job to check the DDA’s green games village project. We have received a detailed layout from the DDA and have suggested some modifications like plantation in open spaces, lawn area and in some more areas,” explained Negi.

The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee has a strategic understanding with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to fulfil the Green Games mandate.

The committee has already started work on various aspects for making the sports extravaganza carbon free.

“Each one of us has a role to play to ensure that India hosts the first green Commonwealth Games. There have been green Olympics but this has not been the case with the Commonwealth Games. We have begun with the Thyagaraj stadium and Games Village and will make sure that every stadium in the country is environment friendly,” Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi said.

Some of the measures being instituted include energy conservation through energy efficiency means, bio-diverse afforestation, an anti-litter campaign, waste management and spreading general awareness about environmental issues.

(Richa Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])