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Games Village will be a residential showpiece

By Madhushree Chatterjee, IANS,

New Delhi : Since early morning an army of more than 500 people, including architects, engineers, supervisors and labourers, troops to a dusty 27-acre complex in east Delhi that is witnessing some of the most frenzied construction activities among the many such sites being readied for next year’s Commonwealth Games.

The area is littered with sand hills, granite, marble heaps, construction cranes and complex building-machinery. Another group of daily wage earners waits outside for day jobs in any of the 34 apartment blocks under construction by Emaar-MGF. A new road linking the complex to the south is also under construction, along with a practice arena for athletes next to the complex.

“The apartments will be ready by 2010 because the pace of work is frenzied,” Aijaz Utsahi, a designer and supplier of tiles, marbles and plaster of paris (PoP), contracted by the builders told IANS.

Twenty-eight years ago, a sprawling village had been built at Siri Fort in the heart of the capital for the athletes who had participated in the 1982 Asian Games. Now, finishing touches are being put to yet another residential showpiece, the Commonwealth Games Village, overlooking the Yamuna river and next to the landmark Akshardham Temple, for the athletes who will make it their home for the October 3-14, 2010 sporting extravaganza.

The township, unlike the Asiad Village which was rather spaced out and idyllic amid tree-lined avenues, reflects the changing city-scape of the capital.

The homes are sleek seven, eight and nine storied luxury apartment blocks laid out amid green landscaped parks, a mini golf course, a swimming pool and a club house which will be equipped with a food court and shopping mall. Each block has 12 apartments on an average. The township, taken over by the New Delhi Municipal Council for the Commonwealth Games, will be handed back to Emaar and the Delhi Development Authority in 2011, which will then sell the homes to private buyers after renovation and clean-up, a senior official of the Dubai-based Emaar told IANS.

Emaar MGF Land Limited, one of India’s leading real estate developers is a joint venture between MGF Developments Limited and Emaar Properties PJSC (“Emaar”) of Dubai. Emaar is one of the world’s foremost real estate companies with operations in 16 countries. MGF has over the last 10 years established itself as one of the key players in retail real estate development in India.

The DDA will hawk 11 towers, while the remaining 23 will be sold by Emaar. “The floor areas vary between 1,900 and 2,200 square feet. The apartments are either two-bedrooms, three-bedrooms, four-bedrooms or five-bedrooms,” the Emaar official said.

Work is on in full swing at the village.

“I have supplied Italian tiles in cream and white for the rooms and matching darker shades for the baths. The finish of the walls, facade and ceilings will be textured with Italian marble grains and PoP,” Utsahi said.

A walk through a sample apartment at the Games Village was like a peek into a studio set – going by the sheer luxury of the homes. A four-bedroom apartment opened into a spacious drawing-cum-dining-cum-living room with four bedrooms (with baths attached) fanning out radially. Each bedroom gave out to a small terrace. The kitchen was a trendy built-in unit in marble, granite, tile and steel.

The bedroom floors are made with wood to give them a western look – and to ensure easy maintenance.

“The homes come furnished with air-conditioners and Italian bath and kitchen fittings keeping in mind the ethos of the international visitors in 2010,” the Emaar official said.

“Bookings started last year,” the Emaar official said. The prices of the apartments vary depending on the view. The homes facing the river are more expensive. “The homes are priced from Rs.2 crore ($420,000) onwards, with the smallest ones being the two-bedroom apartments,” the Emaar official said, adding the booking down payments for the apartments to be sold by the company range from Rs.25 lakh to Rs.40 lakh.