London, Apr.2 (ANI): It is huge, dull and drab. The venue for the G-20 summit looks more like an aircraft hanger than a venue for a prestigious event such as the G-20.
There are so many historical and beautiful buildings in the city and yet, this venue located in the isolated Docklands site was chosen.
The conference centre is in one of Britain's poorest areas where, educational levels are lowest and shanties exist beside tall gleaming skyscrapers of the Canary Wharf area that house the now rogue banks, bankrupt media houses and financial institutions facing closure.
Twenty-two heads of government have collected here to hammer out a way forward from the financial crisis they have brought upon the world. But couldn't their host, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have found a better location than this?
The ExCel Centre was built at a cost of 250 million pounds in November 2000. It's elephant glass pyramid entrance doesn't seem warm and friendly, and gives the impression of being the entrance to a Las Vegas-style casino.
The Centre has played host to various sporting events like WWE wrestling and the Boat Show. The conference room where the leaders are seated has blue black walls, blue black tables, blue black drapes and red chairs which look like they were pulled out of a kindergarten classroom.
The media room is huge with over 3000 work stations, all equipped with high speed Internet access. There are over 200 video edit suites and radio edit rooms. But getting here was nothing short of a nightmare. The accreditation process was long and cumbersome. The security drill was stringent, reflection of times to come. The 2012 Olympics to be held here will not be a cakewalk. The protesters are being kept miles away from the Excel Centre. After yesterday's chaos in London's financial district, which took a serious turn with the death of a protester, the authorities are not leaving anything to chance. By Smita Prakash (ANI)