India is off the starting blocks towards greenest Commonwealth Games

It's not just the London Olympics gearing up to be the greenest games ever but the looming 2010 Commonwealth Games in the India's Delhi.

The latest in a raft of sustainability initiatives linked with the games will see a major tree-planting drive concentrated on the sites of former rubbish dumps in and around the city.

Plans to make the games greener also include the use of renewable energy and water conservation at many venues, along with land remediation and landscaping to boost biodiversity.

Sheila Dikshit, Delhi chief minister, has said: "All stadia are being constructed to ensure reasonable consumption of electricity and water in stadia during the games."
"There is also focus on bio-diverse plantation to offset the carbon footprint."

Recycled and demolition materials are also being used in the construction of venues while strategic tree planting and use of low-emission paints are being considered to help tackle Delhi's pollution problems.

Soil excavated from underground car park construction is to be dumped on top of tips in an effort to control the stench of rotting rubbish and provide basic land clean-up.

In some cases, trees will used to top off the tips and over time provide some level of bio-remediation.

Anti-odour bacteria will also be sprayed on landfill sites to "check the foul stench and present a better view of the city", it is reported.

Some 20,000 trees have already been planted at major landfill sites around the city as part of a wider plan to plant 200,000 saplings associated with the games.

Shashi Tharoor, chairman of the games delivery committee, pledged these will be the greenest ever Commonwealth Games.

He said: "The games would leave a legacy beyond roads and infrastructure - one of greater consciousness of the environment."

David Gibbs


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