The Dugged Out City

Is Delhi the capital city of India? Don’t pop your eyeballs out of the sockets at the question as it is not the case of zero general knowledge level. The reason I’m asking this question is that when Delhi is our capital city then how is that it is never well maintained. Why is there no proper infrastructure of the city? If it rains, then the city is not equipped to digest it and the entire city becomes waterlogged at the slightest showers bringing the traffic to a standstill. Then we have the ill-planned BRT corridors harassing the commuters. The sealing rampage sent everybody into frenzy. Lack of electricity and water, drainage and overflowing open sewers are clichéd problems now. These are just some of the woes that Delhiites have to deal with.

Another trend that I’ve noticed here these days is that the entire city has been dug out for some reason or the other. At some places, electricity wires have to be put in while at others telecom or water pipes take the lead. New road dividers are being built everywhere as if this is the new fashion trend to adorn a city with. The situation is so bad that while the roads are dug out with great zeal, it takes the workers forever to complete the required task and as a result of which the roads are left bare to torture the citizens. Moreover, no sign boards are placed or any kind of fencing to ward off the people from stepping into the dug pits. On top of it considering the fact that street lights hardly function in the city, the danger is more inevitable at night. The situation is worse during rainy days and foggy nights. Many incidents of cars getting stuck in dug holes or people falling into these ditches have been reported.

The standard answer given by the authorities these days on being questioned about the state of the roads is that the city is getting ready for the Commonwealth Games. But the question that arises here is that are we really prepared for the games? The roads all over the city are in a sorry state. Moreover, bad state of the roads along with no traffic rules contribute to heavy traffic jams all over the city at all times of the day. I often wonder if sportspersons would be able to reach the playing stadiums on time and not get stuck in traffic. The traffic comes to a halt at the slightest ditch and unfortunately the city is full of such obstacles.

When the British architect, Edwin Lutyens had designed New Delhi, he must have never imagined how his well planned city would be ruined at the hands of our ruthless and thoughtless traffic authorities and MCD. Off lately, we have been hearing another round of arguments between the government and Tata Motors over low floor buses catching fire. While Tata says that the roads are not well equipped to handle such kinds of buses and it is the pathetic condition of the roads that have triggered off the incidents, the government refuses to accept it. While the mud slinging continues between them, it is only the commuters who are at a grave risk. While we all experience the bumpy rides in the city, nobody bothers to voice out their opinions or perhaps the government has taken a deaf ear to all our woes. While we try to circumvent our way to avoid traffic jams or the various trap-holes, there seems to be no respite anywhere. When and how will our traffic problems be solved is the big question here. While I waste my precious fuel just waiting to cross another jam, keep me informed if you have a solution…

Shikha Tandon

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