Games gains: Delhi gets a world-class makeover | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Games gains: Delhi gets a world-class makeover

delhi Updated: Oct 15, 2010 01:31 IST
Sidhartha Roy

“The Organising Committee overcame all obstacles and presented a successful Games. Delhi now has a rich legacy, world-class venues and improved infrastructure," said CGF chief Michael Fennell.

Gurgaon resident Tafkeen Agha seconds Fennel's views. Agha, 30, now takes the Metro to work in Delhi instead of driving down. Her daily commute now is a 45-minute journey in air-conditioned comfort without traffic-clogged roads.

A Metro network connecting all corners of the NCR, a large fleet of low-floor buses, world-class stadiums, flyovers and underpasses, the world's eighth largest airport terminal, pedestrian bridges with escalators and elevators, the world's largest bus depot, beautified roads, refurbished markets — all this and much more has come up in the last few years, with the Games acting as a catalyst.

Work on the Metro had begun five years before Delhi won the bid to host the Commonwealth Games.

However, the speed with which it has spread across the capital and NCR in the last three years wouldn't have happened without the 'push' that the Games provided.

“Compared to Phase I, Metro's Phase II was completed in half the time and double the amount of work,” said Anuj Dayal, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) spokesman.

“We always had the best roads in the country but the ease with which you can now access all corners of the city and the NCR, thanks to the Metro, is unparalleled,” said Prashant Yadav, senior manager with an MNC.

The going is not too bad for the bus commuters either.

“When the fancy new low-floor buses were first introduced, I didn't believe these will last on Delhi’s roads. But I was wrong,” said Gautam Bannerjee, a student.

The 574 new low-floor buses, that are being used to ferry athletes during the Games, will out on the streets soon, adding to the fleet of 3,775.

Even though motorists had a tough time during the Games thanks to the lane restrictions, the Barapullah flyover, which connects east Delhi to central and southern parts of the capital, will compensate for that.

Inputs from Atul Mathur

The benefits

22 new flyovers in the city, taking total to 70 60 pedestrian bridges with escalators and elevators

1,000 buses can be parked in the new millennium park bus depot, the world's largest 414km of street lighting with powerful and energy saving lights.

5 million sq. feet is the size of Indira Gandhi International airport’s Terminal 3, which is also the eighth largest in the world.