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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

CWG helped precipitate Delhi's development story

Manoj Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 09, 2011
First Published: 00:59 IST(9/12/2011) | Last Updated: 01:05 IST(9/12/2011)

While there has been a lot of debate as to whether the huge expenditure in organising the Commonwealth Games in the Capital was worth it, no one can deny that the Games were a boon as far as the city's infrastructure is concerned.

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The CWG helped precipitate development of the city. Terminal 3 was built in record time. Barapullah elevated road, several flyovers and dozens of new hotels were constructed, all thanks to the CWG. About Rs. 20,000 crore were spent in upgrading the infrastructure of the city.

Today, no city in the country can match New Delhi's public transport system, which was revolutionised, thanks to CWG. Apart from the fast expansion of Delhi Metro, the city got about 3,775 upscale new low-floor buses with dual displays and automatic doors. Moreover, the notorious Bluelines were finally banished.

The city also saw massive streetscaping, spruced up roads and pavements, new signages, new streetlights, bus shelters, as well as new cycle paths in the run up to the Games.

Apart from 23 new flyovers, one of the most significant legacies of the Games has been the 4.3km-long Barapullah, the city's first fully elevated road. The road has not just drastically reduced travel time between east and south Delhi, but is one of the symbols of the city's journey into future.

"It is quite an experience driving on the road: It is traffic-free, pollution-free, and most importantly toll-free. At night, as you roll down your car windows, you get a fascinating view of illuminated cityscape dotted with monuments," said Deepak Sharma, a resident of Ghaziabad, who works in Lodhi Colony.

In fact, the city's heritage - from Mughal monuments to the colonial Connaught Place - also saw restoration because of CWG. "I feel nothing signified the city's drive to rejuvenate itself more than Connaught Place's restoration. After all, it is central to the idea of new Delhi," says Manish Sharma, 30, a Delhi-based artist.

Because of CWG, New Delhi achieved in a couple of years what it would have taken at least 10 years to achieve in terms of infrastructure.


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