An ardent wish
Vijay K. Saluja

Having been in the VIP local body of Delhi-NDMC all my career, I was lucky to have the privilege of living, since 1962, around two kilometers of India Gate, because the govt accommodation which was allotted to my father [he was in the govt service, too] & to me, was in that area.

Having lived about forty three years of our life in open, wide, green & relatively clean area, shifting to Vasant Kunj in 2005, was a tough call, because, not only this area was different from NDMC area, but the distance to my wife`s college, where her work place was/is & our various friends/relative`s- houses/ markets [Khan Bengali & CP] & other cultural centres- India International Centre, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Garden, Mandi House et al, where all art, culture/theatre activities take place, & which we frequented, increased manifold.
Distances which we earlier, travelled in one fortnight, we now, traversed in one day, to reach the place of work/entertainment, shopping etc etc. & what with traffic jams——–

`Dilli kya hai`, we only realized then-its travails, troubles, tribulations, etc etc.

Then, we realized that, all along, we had lived a very sheltered life- `Aatte dal ka bhav to aab mallom hone laga`.

Vasant Kunj, touted as one of the best planned colony of DDA & inhabited by well- heeled & connected persons, had many many civic problems-Broken/ill-maintained roads, overflowing garbage in dalaos, frequented by cows, bulls, pigs, dogs, rag-pickers et al, over packed parking lots in residential blocks, unauthorized construction –additions & alterations in flats resulting in outflow of building mulba & rubbish creating uncomfortable & unaesthetic conditions, day in day out.

Besides,shortage of water, power outrages, frequent cutting of roads, etc made heady cocktail of civic-woes, stray dogs, cows , bulls sitting on the dividers of main roads of the colony, was a daily sight to watch?!

I wrote a regular column in one of the neighbourhood newspaper-`NOW`, discussing various civic issues of the colony & trying to cajole & exhort the local residents/authorities to be an active participant in the upkeep of this well laid out colony. But, despite my many many articles[I almost wrote a regular Saturday column for about 25 weeks], nothing much changed in the attitudes/application, of the residents/RWAs? TWAs/authorities?!

Though, there were some very positive responses from some of the readers, but mostly restricted to their own specific civic problems!!
Many of my friends/relatives pointed fingers at my efforts & enthusiasm & scoffed, too. They were/are of the firm opinion `is desh mein aise hi chale ga“,kuch nahin badllne wala`, `Apni energy waste kar rahe ho`, article likhne main to kuchh paise bhii nahin milte` ———-.

Well, after shifting to Dwarka, I discovered in Dwarka forum & Dwarka Parichay, some synergy & thus HOPE??

Therefore, I have started penning my views abt Dwarka`s civic-woes. In the hope-things may change for the better!

Let us see. Time will tell??.