CWGs Rs 57-cr aerostat finds a buyer, Goa govt takes it for Re 1

FP

The Rs 57-crore aerostat, the showpiece of the Commonwealth Games 2010, is finally set to find a new home, after lying packed in steel containers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here for over two years. The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee has agreed to "sell" the aerostat to the Goa government for Re 1.

The Goa government wants to use the aerostat for the Lusofonia Games, a multi-sport event in which 12 Portuguese-speaking countries take part. Goa is set to host the Lusofonia Games in November this year. Though its use has not been finalised yet, the Goa government plans to use the aerostat for commercial purposes.

"We had written to the Sports Ministry a month back, expressing our willingness to buy the aerostat. Since the Games are still a few months away, we have not decided on its exact use," said Keshav Chandra, Secretary (Sports), Goa.

"The Goa government had written to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, showing interest in buying the aerostat. Since we are the present custodians of the aerostat, we have decided to hand it over to them for Re 1 as we cannot charge anything from a government agency," said Jarnail Singh, CEO, Organising Committee, CWG.

After the Games in October 2010, the OC could not find bidders for the aerostat. It was to be handed over to the Defence Research and Development Organisation, but the DRDO refused to take it citing pending custom duties.

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