A week after Games, Delhi reverts to thieving self | delhi | Hindustan Times
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A week after Games, Delhi reverts to thieving self

delhi Updated: Oct 18, 2010 23:27 IST
Karan Choudhury
Karan Choudhury
Hindustan Times
Karan Choudhury

For 12 straight days, Delhiites put forth their best behaviour in front of the international sporting fraternity and tourists. But within 24 hours of the Games closing ceremony, they managed to live up to all the clichés Delhi is notorious for.

Delhiites are back to stealing and vandalising anything that can be picked up, dismantled and sold at a premium.

Potted plants (that dressed up the pavements of the city), expensive metal dustbin covers and even the adorable Games mascot, Shera, have all fallen prey to those trying to make a quick buck.

Hundreds of potted plants are missing from places like the Yamuna Sports Complex, Games Village and Model Town. These plants belong to civic agencies like the Public Works Department (PWD), the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

"Our men went to pick up potted plants from near Model Town and Delhi University, only to find them missing. Around 35 pots are missing from just one stretch. We fear that beggars and ragpickers are taking them away," said a senior MCD official, on condition of anonymity.

Illuminated Sheras, that donned a number of bus stands in the city, have also been dismantled and vinyl posters and tubelights, among other things, have been flicked.

After a brief lull, beggars, drug addicts and vagabonds are also having a field day, thanks to missing steel covers of newly-installed dustbins at bus stands and outside Games venues.

As many as 22 dustbins, in and around the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium area, have been vandalised.

These covers fetch anything between R50 and R150.

"Even though the covers are fixed on to the dustbins, people still manage to pull them out. All these covers are making their way to scrap dealers," said a senior NDMC official, on condition of anonymity.