When Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit laid the foundation stone for two flyover projects through video conferencing last Tuesday, it marked the beginning of a new system.
The CM not only saved her time and energy by not physically traveling to the construction sites, she also saved the city from unnecessary traffic hold ups, which the traffic police would have had enforced to facilitate the VIP movement.
“Traffic snarls caused by VIP movement or public meetings were a concern while deciding to have virtual inaugurations.
We have done this earlier and will do it more often in the future. There is a lot of congestion in these stretches and we did not want to make it worse for the residents and motorists. We do public meetings where space is available for inaugural functions, but since these were foundation stone laying ceremonies, we thought a virtual inauguration would suffice,” said Dikshit.
The residents of the area might have lost an opportunity to have the state’s chief minister in their neighbourhood, but the city’s traffic police and motorists could not have been happier.
“City roads belong to the VIPs as much as to any other citizen and we cannot stop them from using the roads. But yes, fewer VIP movement means lesser inconvenience to general public,” said a senior traffic police officer.
Traffic experts also feel that unless there is some landmark event, the VIPs should avoid going to inaugurate such projects.
Residents of the area where the Apsara border flyover is coming up however, feel that the CM should have personally come to lay the foundation stone.
“More people would have come to know about the project and its benefits had the CM personally come,” said S Hasan, general secretary, Dilshad Colony Residents Welfare Association.