Vijay K.Saluja

Dwarka, is a very well –planned sub-city of Delhi. DDA, have put in lot of efforts in conceptualizing, planning & implementing the various concepts of urban planning after brainstorming the same with various experts, professionals & many national & international urban institutions . HUDCO, have also played quite an active role in associating with DDA & some of the leading institutions, in these planning exercises. I, also happened to be part of a few of the, then deliberations.

The final results have been fairly satisfactory-wide avenues some of these are tree-lined now, central verges with good scope of greenery, reasonably good apartments put up by various housing-societies, nice market complexes, malls, schools, some of these having very modern architecture & sufficient open spaces, parks & earmarked spaces for many other social-infrastructures etc etc.

But having said that, the present state of the market-complexes & Malls, the state of garbage-management & the traffic around the same, is far from satisfactory!?

Visit any shopping complex i sectors 6,10,4,12 & 7, to name a few, and one comes back with a feeling of great disappointment!? Well planned spacious corridors of all these markets have been encroached upon! As if ,this was not enough, the outside spaces beyond the corridors are monopolised by all and sundry. Thus, killing the dreams of the planners.

The hapless shoppers are harried lot, because the parking lots adjacent, to the planned pedestrian areas, are in a total chaotic state-haphazard parking of vehicles of all modes, which ingress & egress out of these parking spaces, with gay abandon, at times putting the safety of the shoppers, to great risks. Surprisingly, the undergrounding parkings of most of the malls is used for every other purpose except parking!!

There are many other encroachers of different dispensations in these open spaces[left,right,front & back ] planned with these market complexes. Volume of vehicles on week-ends, make the position, all the more worse.

During my visits to these markets, I take a chance to talk to some of the traders/shop-keepers,and ask them about their `Traders Welfare Associations` & the role these have been playing or are planning to play. Believe me-Each one of them [the shopkeeper] is dismayed about the declining state of affairs but is not so happy about the role of the Welfare Associations. However,the positive side is that everyone wants to contribute his mite in arresting the increasing chaotic conditions, but does not know, how to go about it?!

I feel, here is a very big opportunity for various Traders Welfare Associations, Residents Welfare Associations, Dwarka Forum & Dwarka Parichay etc etc to launch various programmes- advisory, awareness, educational, monitoring organizational etc etc.

DDA, MCD, DJB, BSES, Delhi Police i/c Traffic Police, Delhi Govt & many other NGOs ,Civil-Society Groups, Educational Institutions need to come together to evolve Action Plans for proper up-keep in all areas & thereafter implement the same faithfully on sustainable basis.

Media also has a big role, too, in actively associating with the concerned authorities & community

Perhaps, a tall order! But, then, there is no other way out ,to my mind & as per my long experience in the local governance of New Delhi.

Earlier, the synergy is created, the better, it will be for all Dwarkaites , as all of them desire, wish & need clean & spruced up shopping spaces

Infact, this is the strategy needed for all the markets of New Delhi/Delhi.

Writer is Senior Fellow,Institute of Social Sciences,New Delhi