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Delhi comes together to deliver

It was a sight very few had hoped to see on Delhi’s roads. In the peak morning hours, the main lane of the Sardar Patel Marg looked completely deserted. But not a single vehicle dared to stray on it.

delhi Updated: Oct 15, 2010 01:25 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

It was a sight very few had hoped to see on Delhi’s roads. In the peak morning hours, the main lane of the Sardar Patel Marg looked completely deserted. But not a single vehicle dared to stray on it.

Running parallel to it on the same carriageway, the two other lanes were jam-packed with cars, buses, two-wheelers and virtually everything that moved on the road. They followed an orderly line, not trying to overtake — neither honking nor getting impatient. The traffic police looked bored.

This was the scene across south and central Delhi areas, where special Games lane restrictions were in effect. For the sake of Commonwealth Games, Delhi learnt ‘lane driving’ overnight.

After the 12-day extravaganza that ended on Thursday, Delhiites showed that if need be, they could make the Capital look like a world-class city.

Everyone was impressed. “The dedicated lane rules worked exceptionally well, thanks to the efforts of the police and transport authorities. I must thank the people of Delhi for fully cooperating and adhering to the restrictions, even at the cost of their own inconvenience at times,” said Michael Fennel, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation on Thursday.

Traffic challans in and around Games venues were almost non-existent. “No one wanted to play spoilsport and come in the way of the world-class arrangements,” said Pankaj Aggarwal, general secretary, RWAs Joint Front.

But this probably would not have happened without assistance from the law enforcers.

And then, it took 28, 387 Delhi police personnel, 20,000 gun-wielding, paramilitary staff, 60 Special Weapons and Tactics Team men, 300 commandos, 40 snipers and 28 anti-aircraft guns across the city and eight hawk-eyed helicopters to turn the city into a model of cooperation.

But for many, it was also a matter of national pride. No wonder, Fennel, along with Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, summed it up saying, “Delhi has delivered.”