Let’s face it, Delhiites don’t love their city enough! Ahead of the Commonwealth Games, the Capital got all that it had not seen in years — streetscaping that nearly matched world-class standards. However, it seems Delhiites are yet to learn how to appreciate them.
Fancy streetlights, sleek Bus Q shelters, colourful pavements, information kiosks, swanky toilet complexes etc have either been stolen, defaced or vandalised within nine months of their construction and installation. Stretches that donned a swanky look during the Commonwealth Games now look dilapidated and slovenly. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), and Public Works Department (PWD) — agencies responsible for maintaining these streets — are in a tight spot, as replacing the newly installed structures is turning out to be an expensive exercise. Besides, cases of thefts are not covered under the warranty period of the contractor who had installed them.
A number of items such as streetlight poles, dustbin covers, noise barriers and reflectors have been either stolen, defaced or broken. All that installed before the Games are no where to be seen. “Cases of vandalism and theft have become commonplace. There is little we can do about them apart from replacing them wherever it is possible. We have also lodged complaint with the police,” said Anand Tiwari, NDMC spokesperson.
Theft is not the only evil. The civic agencies also have to deal with cases of vandalism. “These facilities were created for the people only but they are yet to appreciate them. We can’t guard each and every stretch,” said a senior MCD official.