New Delhi comes of age

  • Sidhartha Roy and Manoj Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Dec 14, 2011 01:18 IST

The Partition and the influx of refugees changed the contours and demography of New Delhi. It was during 1950s and 60s when several housing, institutional and public buildings came up in a city that was still grappling with the huge burden put on it.

It was only by the 1970s that the Capital settled down and south Delhi truly came into its own. Areas like Hauz Khas, Green Park and South Extension came up at this time. The markets in South Extension and Greater Kailash had a more modern look and were patronised by the ever increasing populace of south Delhi.

Many people, who were residing in the walled city till then, also moved into newly developed areas like Greater Kailash I and II and Safdarjung Enclave.

It was the ninth Asian Games held in New Delhi in 1982 that almost brought the Capital into the 21st century. The landmark event changed the city's landscape and skyline. In the run-up to the 16-day event, New Delhi saw the construction of modern flyovers, wide roads and state-of-the-art stadiums that propelled the city's growth by a decade. The Games also brought colour televisions into Indian drawing rooms.

With its ever increasing population and expanding boundaries, the Centre decided to gift Delhi the status of statehood. Delhi got its own legislative assembly and its first elected government was chosen in 1993. Delhi, however, still has a multiplicity of authorities and the fight for full statehood continues.

The 1980s and 90s also saw the emergence of satellite towns like Noida and Gurgaon. In the next few decades, these two suburbs would not only absorb the pressure on Delhi's infrastructure but also come into their own. While the city kept expanding, going beyond its boundaries, it was the Delhi Metro that integrated Delhi-NCR. Starting with a small corridor in 2002, the Metro now has a network of 190 kms and growing.

From being rocky, barren piece of land in 1911, a ghost town in the 1930s and a staid and sarkari city till the 1950s, New Delhi has today become a buzzing town with its gleaming Metro, glitzy malls and multiplexes as well as grand hotels and restaurants.


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