The city of Delhi is certainly among the most inspiring places anywhere in the world. Ruled by innumerable rulers, built and rebuilt time and again, Delhi symbolises human instinct that believes in moving on and growing despite the odds and challenges. As this lovely city completes 100 years as the national Capital, it should be our responsibility to ensure that it develops further and finds itself in the league of the best cities of the world.
For achieving this objective, we must stress on further improving the city’s infrastructure to cope with the massive population growth. To improve public transportation system, the Metro must be taken to every corner of the city. Bus services as well as innovative and new technologies such as Maglev should be integrated with the Metro to provide last mile connectivity to the masses.
The Metro is expected to reach within half-a-kilometre of every household in the city with the completion of Phase 4. After this, the city will have a Metro network of more than 400km. However, with Delhi growing at a rapid rate, Phase 5 — covering some more areas — may also be necessary.
Delhi also registers about a thousand new private vehicles every day and has more cars than other metropolitan cities of Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. Therefore, the government must come up with disincentives in the form of higher taxes, parking regulations to control this growth. However, as mentioned earlier, before such measures are taken, public transport options have to be made world-class and available to the masses.
Delhi today needs about 25,000 buses on its streets to complement the Metro system. The taxation structure for running buses and other issues such as fuel charges, condition of roads, etc, must be improved to attract investors into the business.
Other integral parts of the infrastructure wheel such as healthcare, education, electricity, sewerage and water supply must be improved and made accessible and affordable for everyone.
We must also continuously work towards decreasing pollution levels in the city. A lot of praiseworthy measures such as introduction of CNG vehicles have already been initiated. Pollution norms, both for vehicles as well as industries, have to be made more stringent so that we can keep the poisonous effects of pollution at bay. Green Delhi has been a priority for the government for the last many years. Such initiatives must be continued too.
Urban planners must also look at scientifically expanding the city with more areas coming under road and rail connectivity. Already we have seen satellite cities of Noida and Gurgaon growing very quickly. If more and more areas are provided with quality infrastructure, then the ever increasing population will also spread out which will help in preventing the city from getting congested further.
River Yamuna has been a witness to Delhi’s growth and development right from the beginning. However, we have not been able to conserve this great river. In the days to come, it must be our top priority to clean and conserve the Yamuna and bring back its glorious days. Proper cleaning of the river along with protection of its banks to prevent erosion must be done quickly.
Also, urbanisation as a trend must be encouraged as only with the growth of our cities can we provide amenities such as better healthcare, education, transport etc to a much larger population. The same process of providing development to the people would be more difficult in villages. However, the process of urbanisation must be properly planned and regulated.
History proves that Delhi will continue to grow and develop, whatever be the challenges. However, if we all work with passion and commitment for this great city, we can make it the best in the world.