A changed city

Delhi-ites compare their pre-Games city to the new one, and hope that the change is here to stay.

entertainment Updated: Oct 18, 2010 00:24 IST
Aakriti Sawhney
Aakriti Sawhney
Hindustan Times

We don’t remember the last time Delhi looked and felt better than the way it did, during the Games. From cleaner, wider roads to lane driving and better security to improved citizen behaviour, the CWG changed the Capital in ways that decades of effort couldn’t. Deservingly, the city received a pat from Union Home Minister P Chidambaram for being at its best.

Delhi-ites, too, appreciate the changed attitude. “During the Games, we felt much safer than we would, earlier, thanks to commandoes posted at every nook and corner. The Metro, too, became woman-friendly with its special compartments. Plus, the city became greener,” says Rishika Jairath, a media consultant.

The city’s sporting spirit also came to the fore. “I am happy that India is now considered a sporting nation. The event made Delhi a hit,” says Sourabh Panhotra, a software engineer.

Disciplined traffic was another gift of the Games. “CWG turned out to be a great lesson for Delhi-ites. Being on the roads was a pain earlier, but, contrary to what most of us had expected, all traffic problems were resolved due to the clear demarcation of lanes,” says Sumedha Dhasmana, a lecturer at JIMS College.

Differences were also noticed in the police’s behaviour. “They were more polite and sensitive,” says Aditya Kumar, a Delhi University student.

But they agree that the challenge lies in sustaining this change. “If the government continues to show such active support, we can consider the Games as just the beginning, and not the end (of the transformation),” says Dhasmana. “Of course, the city changed, but as the people remain the same, I fear that things will go back to the way they were, in the past,” says Panhotra.

First Published: Oct 17, 2010 18:33 IST