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Delhiites stealing Games show

Tiles and railings, fancy lights, special toilets — all this material that is being used to beautify the city for the Commonwealth Games has become, literally, common wealth. They are being stolen right off the streets, and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi can only watch them disappear. Neelam Pandey reports.

india Updated: May 21, 2010 00:35 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times

Tiles and railings, fancy lights, special toilets — all this material that is being used to beautify the city for the Commonwealth Games has become, literally, common wealth. They are being stolen right off the streets, and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi can only watch them disappear.

The material for the laying of footpaths are all very expensive. One sandstone tile costs Rs 40. So too are the high mast lights that cost up to Rs 25,000 each. All of them are either being stolen or vandalised.

“On Rajpur Road, a truck full of sandstone material was stolen… The material is usually left on the site where work is being done,” said MCD councillor Subhash Arya.

The thieves haven’t even spared the 40-odd waterless urinals. Many have been vandalised. One is even missing a toilet bowl.

Built at a cost of Rs 4.5 lakh each, the urinals have bowls fitted with a special chemical cartridge that blocks odours.

“We have to set up 1,000 such urinals. The rate at which they are being vandalised, it’s become a serious cause of worry,” said an MCD official.

“We can’t hire a guard for each site. The people too need to pitch in. These services are for their use only,” another MCD official told HT.

Delhi Police said it wasn’t their responsibility to guard construction material. “Our job is to maintain law and order. But if such an incident comes to light, we’ll investigate it on receiving a complaint,” said spokesman Rajan Bhagat.

First Published: May 21, 2010 00:33 IST