Indira Gandhi Sports Complex
It is the largest indoor sports complex in India, and like most venues for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex was originally built for the 1982 Asian Games. Spread across 102 acres, the fully air-conditioned arena has a total seating capacity of 25,000. The stadium, which features a retractable soundproof wall that can divide the main arena into two neat halves, will also host gymnastics during the Games. A host of eco-friendly measures were also put in place during its renovation, including a thermally insulated roof and water harvesting facilities by recharging an existing lake inside the complex.
Also See The Complex (PDF)
Despite the R690 crore price tag for the venue’s renovation, the imposing fortress-like structure has seen its fair share of trouble in the lead-up to the Games. The renovation work missed the completion deadline twice, and both the cycling and the gymnastics test events had to be postponed. The cycling velodrome sprang a leak days after it was inaugurated. The gymnastics test event, which was held from 21-26 August, was also heavily criticized for water and oil leakage from the air-conditioning vents. The core group of Indian gymnasts, who came down from Pune for selection trials and a three-day training camp from 21-26 August, left midway citing dangerous conditions. With just a month to go for the Games, what could be one of its best sporting venues is still struggling with the basics. Indian wrestlers, though, have already tasted success at the newly renovated venue. They won seven medals at the Asian Wrestling Championship held here in May. Sushil Kumar and Narsingh Yadav won gold in their respective weight categories in the freestyle event, continuing India’s newfound success in the sport after Kumar’s bronze medal triumph at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Text by Rudraneil Sengupta / Graphic by Uttam Sharma/Mint