Gurgaon witnessed phenomenal growth in the last two decades, earned global fame, and got the tag of Millennium city. From glass and chrome corporate offices to high-rises, metro rail to expressway, and proposed extension of metro rail to proposed Pod taxi project, the city is still expanding beyond its limits.
But, at the same time, the basic infrastructure is crumbling under human pressure and apathetic attitude of the government. Gurgaon city generates almost 50% the revenue of Haryana but when it comes to funding for civic infrastructure, the city lags behind.
A single spell of rain exposes the condition of basic infrastructure in the city. Waterlogged roads lead to heavy traffic snarls. Several areas plunge into darkness with power failures. The average power outage in the city ranges from five to eight hours every day.
Absence of a unified authority like Noida and the multiplicity of departments in the city lead to lack of coordination and residents are the end sufferers. An obvious example is the lack of coordination between power distribution company Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) and Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda), leaving many areas without water for several days at a stretch.
“Living in Gurgaon is becoming unbearable despite paying through our noses. There are power outages sometime for more than six hours a day. Generator sets run for more than seven hours per day and cause pollution,” Brij Mohan Mehta of DLF Phase 4 said.
Besides power woes, residents often have to depend on water supply from private tankers. “We have to get up at 2 am to switch on the motor for water, we have no idea when the authority is going to fix the problem,” Praveen Gupta of Sector 14 said. Gupta said that they had to depend on private tankers for their daily needs during summer but this year matters got worse.
Potholed roads belie the Millennium city tag of the city and present an entirely different picture from what one sees while travelling on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. Safety is also becoming a major issue with repeated incidents of snatching, murder, rape, theft, fraud, and cybercrime.
“Travelling in Gurgaon after sunset is not safe. It is not safe to even wear artificial jewellery. Thefts are on the rise. The city has a different face after sunset,” says Manjju Banduni, president of residents’ welfare association of Luxottica society in Block-N of Mayfield Garden in Sector 51.
The existing infrastructure is falling short for the present population of 20 lakh while a survey by the Directorate of Town and Country Planning has projected the city population to rise above 69 lakh by 2031.
In a 10 part series starting Tuesday, Hindustan Times will take up all these issues and try to give the real picture of the basic infrastructure in the city. The series will focus on key issues such as water, power, roads, public transport and traffic, sewerage and drainage systems.
By talking to the subject experts and government functionaries, the series will not only try to raise the issue but will also show the way forward on the various issues affecting citizens.