Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Look before you walk at India Gate

In the run up to the Commonwealth Games in October, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is beautifying streets and pavements in areas under its jurisdiction, including India Gate.

At India Gate, it is supposed to take care of the footpaths around the C-Hexagon.

A quick ground check, however, reveals the area does not have proper walking facilities.

India Gate attracts a large number of visitors, mainly foreign tourists and school children, all through the year who prefer to walk around the area.

As part of the improvised design, a small strip of land for shrubs divides the footpath and the road in the area.

However, absence of planning has led to situations wherein a huge indicator board comes in way of a pedestrian or a manhole is left open literally next to the footpath.

At places like a particular spot on Dr Zakir Hussain Marg, an outlet for storm water is broken on a newly done footpath. At many places, red stone tiles are broken on the side verge and not properly fixed.

Work has been going on for weeks now and work on a majority of the stretches seem to have been completed.

However, while walking on these footpaths, one notices the bad finishing and the half-hearted ways in which the work is being carried out.

Firoz Bakht Ahmed, a heritage lover and an activist who takes the India Gate C Hexagon route daily to reach his school on Barakhamba Road, felt upset about the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities.

“(the authorities) seem to gear up for an international event for some 10-15 days (the Commonwealth Games 2010) but have no consideration for Delhiites, who have been living here and would continue to live here even after Games.”

NDMC chief engineer Ramesh Raina defended himself. “Work for footpath is still going on. It is not complete yet. All these problems will not remain when work completes.”

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