Don’t be alarmed if while walking on the footpaths in the Capital literally gives you a sinking feeling. The newly laid footpaths in the city that were supposed to look aesthetically good and at par with world standards are already falling apart, breaking or sinking.
Patchy last-minute work, zero coordination between various agencies and sub-standard materials have all led to the city looking more like a war-zone than a host for a global event.
The recent rains have added to the ruin of these freshly laid footpaths — be they areas under the New Delhi Municipal Council or the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
With just 35 days to go for the Games, the civic agencies are still setting and resetting the tiles. With almost no time left, the civic agencies are now just cementing the footpaths turning them into big eyesores. Stretches of footpaths at India Gate, Karol Bagh, DB Gupta Road, Munirka, Janpath, and Pandara Park, among others, are all in dilapidated condition.
Senior officials blame incessant digging by different agencies for the collapse. “Different agencies, be it MTNL or electricity department, have time and again dug up the footpaths even after we completed our work. We are left with no option but to reset the tiles hurriedly as the time is less. They do not even inform us that they are going to start their work. There is no coordination among agencies,” said a senior NDMC official on the condition of anonymity, as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
According to him, repeated resetting of the tiles loosens their foundation. “The tiles are supposed to be set in an airtight manner. But after constant resetting, air gets into the tiles,” he said. So when rains water seeps in, it washes away the mud beneath and causes the tiles to sink, he added.
NDMC spokesperson Anand Tiwari said in some cases the tiles were removed to restore the electricity poles. “Otherwise there is no problem and all the footpaths would be ready in the next few days,” he asserted. MCD officials, on the other hand, said incidents of tiles caving in are few and isolated.