Despite being touted as a major turnaround, in a Commonwealth Games notorious for slapdash construction, the newly-built 'rainbow' pedestrian bridge, near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium failed to be of much use.
The bridge had collapsed and was rebuilt by the Indian Army, brought in at the eleventh hour, within five days.
But Delhiites who had come to watch the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games had to walk at least one kilometre to reach the bridge. “What is the purpose of this bridge when we had to walk a kilometre to reach it? We had to take the entire round of the stadium to reach the bridge,” said Gurdarsh Taneja, a retired professor.
The bridge connects Meher Chand market to Gate Number 6 of the stadium, where many spectators had queued up.
“There is no other way you can reach Gate Number 6. We had to take the pedestrian bridge and for that we had to walk long distances. Before taking the bridge, we had to queue up for another half-an-hour,” said Ashok Maan, another spectator.
Spectators had to undergo frisking twice, first at the entry road that led to the pedestrian bridge and the second time, after they got down the bridge.
“The volunteers and police personnel were clueless about where Gate Number 6 was. A volunteer even told us that he had been asked to hide the real distance from us, otherwise people will panic,” said Parul Biswal, a resident of Mehrauli.