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Stadia built for IX Asiad in New Delhi lay echoingly empty and idle

first_imgThe Talkatora diving pool: Financial burdenOnce they resounded to the cheers of packed crowds. Today, the stadia built at such enormous expense for the IX Asiad are echoingly empty, and maintenance expenditure estimated at half the country’s sports budget for the year is being used up to keep them in,The Talkatora diving pool: Financial burdenOnce they resounded to the cheers of packed crowds. Today, the stadia built at such enormous expense for the IX Asiad are echoingly empty, and maintenance expenditure estimated at half the country’s sports budget for the year is being used up to keep them in perfect condition – and idle.Last fortnight, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – 75,000 seats and 641 rooms spread over 110 acres was used for the first time since the November Games when veteran Asian athletes sweated on the track with only a couple of hundred spectators in the stands.The fully air-conditioned Indraprastha Indoor Stadium, which can seat 25,000, has been used for just one sports meet by the Taekwondo Sports Federation for two days in February. The Talkatora pool complex has been lifeless since December 1982.Perhaps the most pathetic plight is that of the Talkatora pool, where not a single swimmer has turned up since the Games. Says Satya Narayana, chief engineer, New Delhi Municipal Committee (NDMC) and in charge of the complex: “For two weeks after the Games we kept the water heated hoping that someone would come to use it. But no one did.” The heating has been turned off but the water continues to be filtered.When the capital’s most popular football tournaments – the DCM and the Durand – were held some time ago, the venue continued to be the Ambedkar Stadium (capacity: 18,000) rather than the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium where the Asiad football matches were held. A spokesman for the Sports Department said that this was because the fans would have had “transport problems”.advertisement Says R.K.Gupta, president of the Delhi Football Association: “What to talk of using the Nehru Stadium, after the Asiad renovation of the Ambedkar Stadium the rates have been hiked here as well, making it impossible to use it for the football league matches as in the past.”High Charges: One reason for the empty stadia is the forbidding rates. At present, only the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which built the Rs 26 crore indoor stadium and now runs it, has fixed rates for its charge: sports bodies must pay Rs 39,000 per day in summer and Rs 15,000 per day in winter; government agencies and charitable organisations Rs 1 lakh per day in summer and Rs 76,000 per day in winter, commercial organisations Rs 1.52 lakh per day in summer and Rs 1.28 lakh per day in winter.The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium: High maintenance costsThe DDA engineer in charge of the stadium considers these rates reasonable; says he: “If you consider my indirect costs which include interest rates at 10 per cent and depreciation at 2 per cent then the costs work out to Rs 2.5 crore a year.To break even on my indirect costs I would have to charge Rs 1.25 lakh a day; if you add direct charges then it becomes necessary to charge Rs 2 lakh a day.” He says that the stadium’s maintenance costs work out to around Rs 50 lakh a year and electricity and water charges to another Rs 40 lakh. Forty people in three shifts look after the security – the contract has been given to a private firm.With such high maintenance costs the rates have to be high, although the DDA has thoughtfully offered half-rates to those using only half the stadium. But so far, there have been few takers. Besides the Taekwondo Sports Federation, six non-sports bodies have hired the hall, three of them for film star ‘nite’ shows.Asks V.K. Malhotra, president of the Indian Archery Federation: “With rates as high as these, which sports federation would think of using the stadium?” The steep rates for users not connected with sports also make it unlikely that there will ever be regular bookings.The chief engineer notes that whether the stadium is used or not a minimum charge has in any case to be paid to the electricity undertaking as the stadium consumes 6,000 kw in summer and 1,500 kw in winter when in full use.Another reason why the stadia are unused is that the equipment and playing area are considered too sophisticated to be used by all comers. The National Stadium was refitted with astroturf which requires a special watering system; says K. Basu, director, maintenance, Special Organising Committee (SOC): “Ordinary teams can’t be allowed to use astroturf. It is like giving a sitar meant for Ravi Shankar to a fresher.”A spokesman for the Sports Department says: “The organisers of the hockey nationals held recently in Meerut did not ask for the ground, perhaps because it would have meant the use of special shoes, special balls and more stamina would have been required. But the astroturf has been used for the Indian women’s hockey team practice matches.”advertisementIn the same way, joggers, athletes and gymnasts cannot use the Nehru Stadium. Observes S.K. Chawla of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), superintending engineer of the stadium: “It would be a security risk and in any case one has to ensure that special shoes with spikes no more than 6 mm long are used so that the tracks are not spoilt.” The Delhi University grounds were enclosed within a tall fence for the handball and archery events – not very popular sports in India – and are now out of bounds to the joggers and gymnasts who used the grounds in the past.Swollen Costs: But the stadia have to be kept in condition whether they are used or not. Chawla estimates that the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium would cost about Rs 65 lakh a year to maintain, assuming that it will be in active use 120 days in a year.He explains that when the stadium” is in use, expense on electricity, water and staff increases enormously – often, extra staff has to be recruited. Not included in the estimate are the 80 men of the Central Reserve Police Force who guard vital installations such as the lighting towers, the public address system and the score-board.In fact, Sports Minister Buta Singh, replying to a question in Parliament in February, admitted that the maintenance, minus the operational expenses of just the two main stadia and the swimming pools, would work out to Rs 1.2 crore a year. Later, at a sports Ministry meeting on March 2, the caretaker organizations – DDA, CPWD and NDMC – were asked to submit revised estimates for maintaining the stadia according to what a spokesman calls “international standards”. The annual cost of maintenance and limited operational usage then works out about Rs 2.5 crore, for just the big three. If the other Asiad legacies are added, the cost rises to a whopping Rs 3 crore.Big Drain: Compared to national sports budgets, the stadia maintenance costs are staggering. The, national expenditure on sports was just Rs 2.69 crore in 1980 – 81, Rs 3.06 crore in 1981 – 82,and Rs 4.90 crore in 1982 – 83. For the year 1983 – 84 the budget has been hiked to Rs 6.36 crore.The amount allotted for the upkeep of the three sports institutes at Patiala, Bangalore and Calcutta is Rs 3 crore which is about the same as the maintenance cost of the Asiad stadia. As against this, grants to various state sports councils for 1983 – 84 will be around Rs 80 lakh, and grants to national sports federations around Rs 90 lakh.The Government has also to work out the ticklish question of who is to ultimately manage the stadia. At present the agencies that built them are doing the job on the understanding that the expenses will eventually be reimbursed.The SOC, which was in charge of sports grounds during the Asiad, says it is no longer concerned. Says K.S. Bains, additional secretary-general, SOC: “We will be winding up 90 per cent of our operations by the end of March. It is no longer our problem.”advertisementThe hope is that eventually a sports authority will come into being to mother the facilities. But, as the debate continues, it is now clear that when the grey pachyderms from Kerala left Delhi after taking part in the Asian Games ceremonies, they left some spotless white brethren behind.last_img read more

Threat to Scripps Ranch High School prompts lockdown

first_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSCRIPPS RANCH (KUSI)- A scary morning for students and staff after a serious threat was made against Scripps Ranch High School. The threat prompted an hour-long lockdown on campus.Staff quickly secured students in classrooms and police started searching for any possible hazards on the campus.Around 12:30, San Diego Unified said the lockdown was lifted and classes would resume as scheduled.Extra police patrols were also called to campus in November and February after threats were made to the school. Threat to Scripps Ranch High School prompts lockdown KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom December 6, 2018 Posted: December 6, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Israels Beresheet moon landing attempt ends with a crash

first_img Israeli moon mission makes orbit ahead of Sea of Serenity landing SpaceX sends Israel’s historic moon mission on its way Originally published April 11, 12:32 p.m. PT.Update, 6:40 p.m. PT: Adds traditional information regarding X Prize and Beresheet’s final image. The failed mission will be remembered as bittersweet.”Well, we didn’t make it, but we definitely tried, and the achievement of getting where we got is really tremendous,” said Morris Khan, an Israeli entrepreneur who provided a large portion of the funding for Beresheet, as he addressed the observers near the control room. “We can be proud.”NASA commended the mission in a tweet: “We congratulate SpaceIL, Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit.” Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 pilot, also had kind words. “Never lose hope. Your hard work, teamwork, and innovation is inspiring to all,” he tweeted. While @NASA regrets the end of the @TeamSpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing, we congratulate SpaceIL, Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit. https://t.co/XwHpN5M8Pu pic.twitter.com/cfMtP4srDr— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) April 11, 2019 4:13 Beresheet launched on Feb. 21 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and overcame a brief technical glitch along the way. The lander was designed to take pictures of its surroundings and measure the moon’s magnetic field. It was even able to snap one final, breathtaking image as it approached the lunar surface and beam it back to Earth.SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) had placed a time capsule in the lander filled with digital files covering Israel’s history and heritage. That time capsule was likely lost along with the spacecraft. The dream didn’t quite come to fruition, but Beresheet’s journey to lunar orbit was still an important moment in space history that made the moon feel more in reach for the world. Although SpaceIL didn’t quite make the deadline, the X Prize foundation was inspired by its attempt, creating a new prize dubbed the Moonshot Award. Originally, the foundation stated “for their achievement upon landing on the moon”, X Prize would hand SpaceIL the first Moonshot Award — and $1 million.Of course, Beresheet did not make it to the surface in one piece but it did still land — albeit with a little more force than hoped. As a result, the foundation said it would still be providing SpaceIL with the cash. Beresheet snapped this partial selfie during its approach to the moon. SpaceIL/IAI Israel’s Beresheet would have been the most unlikely lunar lander in history, but the spacecraft didn’t survive its reach for the moon’s surface Thursday.SpaceIL’s live broadcast followed the tense maneuvers needed to get the lunar lander down to the Sea of Serenity on the near side of the moon. The Beresheet team members worked in the control room as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu watched from a spectator area.The landing process suffered some glitches when the main engine cut out and mission control lost communication. The disappointed team reacted calmly to the failure. Super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse dazzles in striking photos 2 They may not have had a successful landing this time, but @TeamSpaceIL has still made history. They will be the recipients of our first ever $1M Moonshot Award, in honor of their achievements and their milestone as the first privately-funded entity to orbit the Moon. 🌒 #moonshot pic.twitter.com/ErUfjqvvxY— XPRIZE (@xprize) April 11, 2019 Beresheet aims for the moon Share your voice This was a mission of firsts. Beresheet was to be Israel’s first moon lander, which would have put the country in an exclusive club that includes the US, Soviet Union and China. In addition, nonprofit SpaceIL would have been the first private, nongovernment group to set a lander on the moon’s surface.SpaceIL was originally conceived to compete in Google’s Lunar X Prize which, in 2007, threw down a challenge to private companies to build a spacecraft that could land on the moon. The original deadline to claim the $30 million in prize money was originally 2014, but it was extended out until 2018 before an announcement that the prize would go unclaimed. Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft crashes on the moon Comments Now playing: Watch this: Space Tags Sci-Tech 12 Photoslast_img read more