You can live at your in-laws while your home is getting renovated. You can be shacked up in a temporary space while your office is being refurbished. But what do you do while your city is getting rehauled for weeks and months on end — apart from closing your eyes and expecting the brightest, shiniest town to be unveiled when all the work is done? Well, you can complain if that city is the capital of 2010 India and complain with double-force if the heart of that capital becomes totally unmanageable, thanks to detours and renovation work.
It turns out that the uncontrolled chaos that has been New Delhi, made visible especially at its core, Connaught Place, has finally been noticed by the powers-that-be. At last, Delhi’s Lt Governor Tejender Khanna had to order civic authorities to scale down renovation work to “manageable levels”. Even as our nervousness remains regarding what he means by “manageable levels”, the fact that many places in Delhi may now look less like a battle-scarred zone can bring comfort to Delhiites. Unlike the citizens of Mumbai or Kolkata, used to “manageable levels” being ‘unmanageable’, Delhiites aren’t used to such urban nightmares. On the flip side, Delhi’s political class and VIPs have been far used to travelling via ‘red lights’ that make traffic part in the proverbial Red Sea parting manner.
With Delhi all a-crumble before the supershine of the Commonwealth Games that will, according to the super-message, cure everything, authorities have planned to junk the earlier plan (yes, there was apparently one) and figure out something that won’t turn the national capital into a giant rat maze. In the meantime, we both curse and thank our stars that in a few months’ time we will have a national capital that will shine like no other. And in case that doesn’t happen, well, let Delhiites make their homes and offices prettier. They may have to spend more quality time indoors.