Commonwealth Games run up fiasco?
On Sunday I went to see a movie in Connaught Place after a very long time. It took us nearly 20 minutes to find a place to park our car since virtually the whole of CP has been dug up beyond recognition. After the movie I decided to walk around the area to see for myself how Delhi’s most famous market is in a state of total mess.
Yes I know that the digging and the massive work going on is a part of the Commonwealth Games preparations. It is not CP, alone which is unrecognizable. Many parts of Delhi, which have no connection with the Commonwealth Games, have also been dug up. For instance, a friend who had some work in Regarpura in Central Delhi, which is a colony where there are large number of shoes making shops, told me that several lanes have been dug up. When he inquired he was told it was because of commonwealth Games. I am sure that no visitor to this city is going to go to Regarpura to buy shoes when the Games are in progress. The area needs to be maintained properly but why have the excuse of commonwealth Games.
I often suspect that in the name of the Games, a lot of people in our civic agencies and in the government are making a lot of money. How else would the Commonwealth projects initially estimated for Rs 770 crore be now touching Rs 12,000 crore. Somebody must monitor the money spending since it could be one of the biggest scams in the history of this city.
Coming back to CP, I somehow have this feeling that the June end target for completion of the works cannot be met given that the rate of progress is far below expectations. The middle circle has been closed in some stretches and I wonder if the filling up subsequently will stand the test of rains which will follow in a month’s time. The apprehension is that many of these roads may sink in and it may take double the effort to put them back in shape. We all know that when telephone lines are laid or when roads get dug up for sewer pipes, for two or three years, they require repairs since there is a cave in at some point once the rains come.
The stretch of road from Rajokri to Kapashera and from there to Bijwasan which is the way to the Farm Houses of many influential people was dug up for sewer pipes more than a year ago. Till date the road is not been remetalled and one stretch has been shrunk so much that movement of vehicles has become impossible. I think experts should find out whether sewer pipes have been laid there at all. This will be tested when monsoons lead to water clogging as usual. No one seems to be accountable.
In CP, the parking lots are being made at a level below the inner circle road. It is obvious that they too will get water logged if the storm water draining system has not been taken care of.
CP’s biggest USP was that one could go and park in front of the shop one wanted to visit. But Babus also have a plan to pedestrianise this busy market place. Now who will come to CP in the heat to walk around after parking a kilometer away given that Delhi has a very challenging weather for nearly eight months? Babus will never learn and our politicians too are like them these days. Not accessible and not pragmatic.
I hope that the Commonwealth Games are held as schedule because the country’s prestige is at stake. The inconvenience through which most of us have gone through because of intense construction activity will otherwise be not worth it. And if our Babus and politicos let us down, they should be strictly dealt with.