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In Games rush, civic bodies ignore city parts

delhi Updated: Oct 19, 2010 00:07 IST
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On October 13, a day before Michael Fennell, chief executive officer of the Commonwealth Games Federation, was to meet residents of Safdarjung Enclave for lunch, the road leading to the lunch venue was in bad shape.

"The road was neglected, and on the day they wanted to repair it, they neither had the people nor could bring in the required equipment due to Games restriction," said Pankaj Agrawal, a resident activist of the area.

Safdarjung Enclave is not a singular example where during the fortnight of the Games civic work was neglected.

Mansoor Hasan Siddiqui of Shahjahani Dilli resident welfare association (RWA) said: "They didn’t pick up garbage for days altogether. When we asked the officials, we were told the staff had been deputed for Games-related work."

Plush residential areas, such as Lajpat Nagar, were not spared either. "The problem increased during the Games, as the authorities got an excuse for not picking up the garbage," said Harvinder Singh, general secretary of Lajpat Nagar-3 RWA.

MCD Commissioner KS Mehra, however, denied the allegations. "We used substitute power everywhere. It is possible that the residents did not know who these people were and hence they are saying no civic staff was seen," he said.

Mehra also disputed that roads were neglected, saying: "Repair of roads has started. We have also been lifting garbage more regularly during this time."

Case studies

Cleanliness next to residential houses

Residents of this east Delhi colony were eagerly awaiting the Commonwealth Games to be over. "The sanitation workers had gone missing. When we asked the MCD's Shahdara (S) zone officials, they said the staff has been deployed at the Games Village," said BS Vohra, president of East Delhi RWA Joint Front.
In Naraina Vihar, the storm water drain running parallel to the railway line is full of garbage. "We have asked the authorities to look into the matter but nothing has been done so far," said Satya Praksh, member, Federation of Naraina Vihar RWAs.

Roads remain dug up, undone

For residents of Vasant Kunj, the road to an easier life is full of potholes. Roads that were laid few months ago have started to fall apart.

This is especially true of the road connecting Aruna Asaf Ali Marg and Nelson Mandela Road.
Ravi Verma, a resident of Shivalik, C Block, called the potholed Shivalik-Begam Pur Road leading to the Metro station as “a nightmare”.

Fogging goes on backburner

Fogging was done four times a day at Games venues and Village but residential areas were ignored resulting in skyrocketing of dengue and other cases.

"Our colony that is just opposite the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was completely ignored," said MK Verma, joint secretary, Lodhi Colony Complex RWA.

Safdarjung Enclave, too, saw dengue cases touching the roof.

Illegal towers were not touched

Oral as well as written complaints, nothing has been able to pull down anillegal tower in Khirki Extension, Malviya Nagar.

MCD's pet reply for last two weeks: "Due to Commonwealth Games, we don't have staff to carry our demolition now."

Similarly in Lodhi Colony Complex, residents have been complaining against a mobile transmission tower that is on the roof of a private school.

"No action has been taken for last few months," said MK Verma, joint secretary, Lodhi Colony Complex RWA.