For a land-locked city like Delhi, everyone is surprisingly talking about brushing up their sailing skills. No, not the paper boat variety, but the real ones with oars, maybe even a motor. Okay, we made that up. But the way the civic infrastructure of the Capital city of India (put special emphasis on those words when you read this) is collapsing and making driving through flooded roads a daily chore, buying a boat could well be a feasible option. Or perhaps an amphibious vehicle. At least, a ‘high-clearance’ vehicle if you still insist on driving your good old jalopy down what once used to be a road.
About 13 roads — including really busy ones — caved in within six hours of the downpour on Friday. So what did we do? Most of us tightened our seatbelts and gave the Himalayan Car Rally drivers a run for their money. If you thought this was bad enough, add a healthy dose of that legendary Delhi temper, and you get complete mayhem. While some did manage to find a slim strip of tar and felt like Moses crossing the Red Sea, others were not so lucky. The calmer ones among us, of course, saw the brighter side to all this traffic chaos: they spotted new water bodies along their routes and were amazed to find the Delhi government so committed to water harvesting. Of course, their amazement was short-lived when they were told that those water bodies actually used to be busy roads once a upon a time.
The men in charge of these roads were, however, not losing any sleep over all this. As always, they dumped the responsibility on the metro rail construction. The drainage system has been all clogged, they said. So why did the roads collapse? Maybe under the weight of our expectations, for such things can never happen in the Capital city of India (with the emphasis again, please!).