Construction to start on 2014 Winter Olympics sites

By Richard High03 April 2008

The Russian government will start construction at 27 sites for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the southern resort city of Sochi before the end of the year, Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov has announced.

Speaking at a meeting of Russia's presidential sports committee Mr Zubkov said, "We have worked out the schedule of construction works. According to this schedule we will launch the construction of 27 Olympic related sites before the end of the year."

Design and planning work on over 90 more sites will also be completed before the end of the year, said Mr Zubkov. He also moved to calm concerns that local residents would lose their homes as a result of construction work associated with the 2014 games, saying owners of land affected would receive compensation - either land or money.

Stung by recent critisim that the Games would be an environmental blight on the area minister Yury Trutnev said environmental organisations and NGOs would be consulted before any work started.

He said there would be some changes made to the existing plans to "fit the strict demands of national and international environmental legislation."

The organisers, said Mr Trutnev, were currently working on a new "ecological plan" concerning the scheduling of construction work in the area, best practice working methods and any legacy benefits to the region Sochi region.

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