Vijay K. Saluja
I shifted to Dwarka about a year back. Earlier, being in the Govt, I had the good fortune & privilege of staying for more than thirty years in the vicinity of India Gate-the central most part of New Delhi, where, I happened to have the allotment of a govt flat, in one of the well-laid out colonies. Life was fairly comfortable, as my office, schools where my children studied, the college in which my wife worked, the clubs- Chelmsford ,NSCI, DGC, Delhi Gymkhana. the shopping places, like Connaught Place, Bengali market Khan Market etc, the culture,-centres like Mandi House, Kamani Hall, Pragati Maidan, the cinema halls, the parks & gardens like Lodi Garden, Nehru Park,Talkatora Garden were all within two to three kilometers of our residence.
With limited number of vehicles[Maruti came later which started changing the scenario] on roads, commuting to various places/venues was a safe & delightful journey.
I remember, cycling to various places along with my children was always a learning exercise. Everyone looked forward to these local jaunts.There were many get-togethers & picnics in the gardens which also were clean & green spaces reasonably well kept, with of course not many frills.
But it was nontheless enjoyable. This was not only our experience & feelings but all our colleagues, friends, relatives shared the similar experiences/ views. There was not much tension or stress in day to day commuting & living!
We chose Dwarka, to live after retirement, primarily for the reason that it was a well planned sub city, having wide roads, greenery, reasonably good infrastructure etc etc, better than most of other areas of sprawling Delhi,though there are some hiccups too.But, being here for about a year, I have observed a few things. One of that is————-
Commuting to other parts of Delhi over the time, is becoming a very tortuous exercise, The only get-away to central & south Delhi are thru NH8-Mahipalpur or NH8-Rao Tula Ram Road-outer Ring Road/Dhaula Kuan.Here all the commuters who are daily using these routes will agree with me, what a mind-wrenching experience it is everyday! Tortuous long traffic jams for hours together, are the orders of the day.
In the traffic jams are not only the residents of Dwarka who are stuck but all those powerful politicians with the red lights on their vehicles, influential bureaucrats with great career track records, knowledgable media personnels, urban planners, policy makers, businessmen & ,industrialists, traffic police officers, municipal officers because these are the only approaches from to and fro the airport[domestic & international].
My thoughts go over to their state of minds when they are in this situation day in day out.
`Don`t they feel ,something urgent is amiss?!That there is need to correct this horrendous situation which is worsening day by day., & some of them are in position, to take corrective steps.`
`Of what use will be the well planned new airport, which is scheduled to open in July 2010,what advantages the city will have, when the Commonwealth games start in Oct-2010 etc etc.`
There are many many ponderables.but one thought which is uppermost in my mind is why the people who have the ability & powers to correct the situation do not do so & keep on suffering,too!
ANY ANSWERS/ SOLUTIONS/ VIEWS?
Writer is a Senior Fellow at Institute of Social Sciences-New Delhi