Another facelift for Delhi
The decision of the authorities to restart the renovation work in Connaught Place and many other parts of the capital has not been well received by the common people.
Having experienced huge hardships during the run up to the Commonwealth Games, people are not mentally prepared for fresh digging and traffic snarls in different areas. Yes it is true that the NDMC Administrator Parimal Rai had forewarned everyone about the restoration work, but it has come too soon.
CP had been out of bounds for many regulars like me for several months last year because of continuous construction activity. I am deeply disappointed that the premier shopping area so central to Delhi’s character will be once again affected. Delhi had been dressed up for the commonwealth Games and its dirty side remained hidden from many for several months. It so happened that while huge amounts of money was spent, large parts did not see any development. Till today, the roads in several areas including Kapeshera, Bijwasan etc are in extremely poor shape and a big accident is waiting to happen any day. If government sources are to be believed than in virtually large parts, the roads have been remetalled in files but in reality they continue to be pot holes of death.
I am sure when the CAG completes its inquiries regarding Commonwealth Games and other scams in Delhi, the truth will come out. The Games were no doubt a big success but they also made several of our top bureaucrats and politicians richer by big amounts all in crores and above. The Centre has been talking about rooting out corruption, but has done nothing so far to deal with it right under its nose in the national capital. I think a thorough scrutiny of all the projects related to the CWG is needed and the guilty must be punished without any further delay to send the right kind of message.
There has also been talk of Delhi getting a new Lt. Governor and a new Chief Minister. If gossip doing the rounds of power corridors is to be believed, the days of both Tejinder Khanna and Sheila Dikshit may now be numbered. Khanna is believed to have himself opted out of a further extension while Sheila’s utility for the party so far as Delhi goes has reached its expiry date. But till gossip becomes truth, nothing can be said with certainty.
In any case, like the Centre, Delhi needs to be administered firmly and properly. Any kind of cosmetic makeover is totally unacceptable. Delhi is in its 100th year as the national capital (since the British shifted it to Delhi in 1911) and has a pride of place amongst oldest cities of the world.
It is a city, which is also looking for a change.