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A common wealth

After the PM put the Delhi Govt and the organisers of the 2010 DCG on alert last August, there has been a flurry of activity, writes Thomas Mathew.

india Updated: May 29, 2007 23:54 IST

After the Prime Minister put the Delhi Government and the organisers of the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games (DCG) on alert last August, there has been a flurry of activity. Since the PMO is directly monitoring the progress of the work, there should not be any dearth of funds. What is urgently required, however, is greater co-ordination among the various Games-related agencies.

A visit to the Games Village near the Akshardham Temple shows that there is not much happening there. Obviously those involved in the smooth conduct of the DCG, — the Union Sports Ministry, the Delhi Government, Delhi Development Authority, the Sports Authority of India, the Central Public Works Department, etc. — need to pull up their socks.

The Games will make Delhi a better place to live in. Remember what the 1982 Asian Games-brought with it? Better urban infrastructure, wider roads, flyovers, modern communication networks and much more. It is important to create better awareness among Delhiites and enlighten them on what is happening as we get closer to the Games. As of now, only a signboard has been installed at the main venue.

A solution to the traffic snarls is yet to be found. Many roads have to be repaired in East Delhi and flyovers, bridges and underpasses built. The drainage system is faulty and outdated. Accommodating some 8,000 athletes and nearly 100,000 tourists will be a tough job. Even providing basic necessities like electricity and water will be a Herculean task. The Delhi Jal Board and the power companies will have to work overtime to achieve the target.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has taken certain measures to streamline its services. Though the DTC has been in a rut for a while, there are signs of revival. The move to introduce 25 AC vehicles and 500 non-AC buses in August will be a precursor. Above all, there is ample reason to pin our hopes on the Metro, as work
is in full swing at line sites in East Delhi and Noida.

Even if medals elude us, one thing that Delhiwallas are hoping for from the Commonwealth Games is change in their city. A sea change for the better.

tmathew@hindustantimes.com