Khel Gaon, lone bright spot in the dark at National Games

Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 17:00 [IST]

Tapan Mohanta

Ranchi, Feb 16 (PTI) Amid all the negative news that hasdogged the 34th National Games, the Khel Gaon built in closeproximity of the Mega Sports Complex here is one bright spotwhich asks for attention.

The sprawling Athletes Village has 31 nine-storiedapartments, four row houses and a duplex bungalow housingabout 10,000 athletes.

Nicely lit up in the evening, the place in the backdropof Sal forest provides a colourful and vibrant ambiance.

At the end of the day, the Village becomes abuzz with alot of social and cultural activities with athletes anddelegates enjoying every minute of their stay here.

It has a makeshift shopping complex with general store,food joint, men''s and women''s parlour, an ATM, cybercafe,laundry house, and a Jharcraft (handicrafts of the state)store.

But the major attraction of the Khel Gaon is its foodplaza -- the dining complex -- which serves varied delicacies,right from appetisers to main course to desserts.

Gujarat swimming team manager Neha Trivedi said the bestpart of the Khel Gaon was food and the elaborate arrangementsmade for the comfort of the athletes.

"Food is rich in protein. We are vegetarians but theyhave given careful thought in choosing the menu. It''sdelicious," Trivedi said.

"We had heard all bad things about the Games but werealised what it is after coming here. The arrangement is verynice. People are very friendly and the service is very quick.

"We asked to clean the house at 11:00 pm after arrivinghere and the staff did it right away," said Trivedi, who isputting up in a three-bed room flat along with 10 womenswimmers.

To meet the heavy demand, around thousand cooks have beenemployed and special emphasis have been laid on the quality,hygiene and speed, said chef Vijay Sharma.

Right from cutting and chopping of vegetables to cookingrice and making chapatis, everything is mechanised.

"The machine making chapatis can make 2,000 pieces while120 kg of rice can be cooked in the specially designedcooker," said Sharma.

"No one is allowed to enter the cooking area without capand apron. Chicken and other non-vegetarian products are alsobought daily so that preparation tastes the best," he said.

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