New Delhi: Come September and this host city for the October Commonwealth Games will start covering some of its slums and garbage dumps with flags and banners bearing a special design featuring the beaming event mascot, Shera the tiger.
According to a Delhi government official, the design was finalised by the Games organising committee and has been kept under wraps. Markets and hotels in and around he Games venues too have been asked to put up the design to attract visitors.
The city government had earlier planned to cover up slums with bamboo screens along key routes for athletes. "But now the plan has been dropped as there is no need for that," Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta told IANS.
Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan told IANS that his department will be using the design at various places, including on an elevated road coming up between the Games village in east Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in south Delhi.
"We will use the design as it will portray a uniform look through the city during the Games and will impart a festive look," Chauhan said. "It will also be used on elevated corridors.
"But at a few locations from where garbage and slums are visible (along the route for the visiting athletes and delegates), these designs will be put up to cover them up," Chauhan said.
All the agencies involved in preparations for the Oct 3-14 sporting event besides hotel and market associations in and around Games venues have been asked to use the design on flags, banners and other beautification paraphernalia, the official said.
At the same time, the official said, they have also been instructed to cover up the eyesores with the banners, flags and other outdoor materials bearing the Games design.
The agencies concerned will bear the cost of putting up these beautification aides.
The agencies include the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the New Delhi Municipal Council, the Delhi Development Authority, the PWD and the Central Public Works Department.
The official said things were finalised at a meeting last month at the Delhi secretariat where Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi and officials from various departments were present.
At the meeting, a presentation was made in this regard and the design was approved.
Art and Culture Secretary Reena Ray will coordinate with various agencies for the implementation of the plan, a government source said.
Trade and Taxes Commissioner Jalal Srivastava will coordinate with market associations.
"The associations of markets and hotels in and around the Games venues have been asked to put up the design (on banners) so that they attract maximum visitors and the decked up city gets a uniform look in all areas," the government official maintained.
Pointing out that the beaming, striped Games mascot Shera will feature in the design, the official refused to divulge any more information.
Chauhan said the design will be used near important locations like Pragati Maidan and other roads near ITO in central Delhi.