Vijay K. Saluja

SUNDAY, the 8th December,2013 will go down in the history of India as the AWAKENED SUNDAY`. Since the morning of this day, the trend of election results for Delhi, the capital of India indicated, march of awakened Delhi citizens esp its youth towards `Bettering Delhi, which over the last 15 years in particular has been “`raped` & “reviled` by the political parties, who were given the mandate to make Delhi better & provide for better quality of life, for its residents.

But, allow me to say that [whatever other learned readers may say] Delhi has become an UNLIVABLE city for major percentage of its denizens! Damage to its vast spaces has become either irreparable or very very cost-oriented ,demanding huge resources & is time consuming, too!

To buttress my point, let me state the following———-

Over the years there has been no effort to contain its population& spread the growing influx of populace, in a balanced & judicious manner in NCR –the purpose for which it was conceived & planned.

After all, there is an optimum size of any healthy & properly developed, maintained & operated city.

Presently, the population of Delhi is touching 200 lakhs!

Despite, two Delhi Master Plans, there has been no effort to faithfully implement the same .Not only, there has been huge implementation-deficit ,but, there have been compromises in whatever has been implemented!

All the major & minor transport corridors are in a big mess. There are massive traffic jams at most hours of the day[& night]& there is no consideration in planning of these for two wheelers, light vehicles & PEDESTRIANS!!Result-frequent accidents-

All the colonies even approved ones & the newly constructed by DDA viz vasant Kunj, Rohini, Dwarka, what to talk of unauthorized colonies, slums, jhuggi-jhonpris-clusters, urban villages & urban extensions are in a big mess

Allowing to build another floors on the existing houses by increasing FARs in the existing colonies without giving adequate thought to the available basic services & infrastructure is a stark reminder of the bankruptcy of the thought processes of urban plan formulators/ implementers or is a sad story of the collusion of the concerned local authorities with greed &————?!

There has been dismal shortage of basic services, inadequate minimum infrastructure, minimum/no quality of life [which major percentage of Delhi citizens woefully lack!] for its major percentage of residents!

There have been big scams in various developmental works of Delhi-prominent among these are CWG, Connaught Place Redevelopment Project, River Yamuna Cleaning Works, to name a few, of the many.

But when a mega-city, has more than 200 lakhs persons living/ working in its jurisdiction, the new dispensation who ever takes the charge of Delhi will/ need to work with care, commitment, proper thought & passion to make things better /better Delhi for its electorates, who, I think can/ will not be fooled by false & empty promises & will certainly be irked by the arrogance & egos of the persons they have chosen to govern in a better way.

( Mr. Vijay K. Saluja is a Director of Giraffe Heroes India Program & winner of national & international award for his contribution to the society for his honesty & writing skill, & Ex Chief Engineer[civil]-NDMC )