Thursday, April 24, 2008

Whether Delhi is a better place to live-in

It is an always-on debate. It looks differently in the morning, in the afternoon and in the night. Some thing you cheer and some you may jeer. Delhi has been the centre of power for centuries so a natural rhythm, it seems, has built over the long period.

Beggars at Delhi road Photo: Chanakya's World

The culture, the people, basic amenities, law and order- weighing on these indicators will reflect many faces of this historical city. Prosperity in general increased after the liberalization, so on this count, it is a significant place. But, in the same breath the other indicators are, which can’t be ignored, are not in the positive terrain.

Educational Institutions could attract good points. Two universities situated on two poles of this multicultural city have been doing a better job despite all the odds.

Health of this city is in the red. You may avoid crowd at AIIMS but, surely will be in the clutches of crocodiles, those who are minting money through much touted medical tourism at the cost of general health of this city.

If we take this week’s news headlines it is all about Delhi roads and newer methods in trial to provide a better public transport system. What it reflects is that the infrastructure is inadequate to support the big population of Delhi and this has become a perpetual exercise of the planners to dig in. And, on the other hand there is a showpiece, this city can boast of – Delhi Metro.

Twenty four hour electric supply is not the case in Delhi. There is always a big gap between demand and supply. Summers are especially painful which lasts almost seven months a year. Water is another sordid saga. Potable water- this variety is not available in Delhi. You have to rely on bottled water or you may experiment with some purifying systems available in the market with fancy names.

Policing in Delhi has been a challenge and now-a-days what it means, please flip the page no. 2 & 3 of national dailies published from the capital city. Well, there is a silver lining that we can take refuge in the hastened judicial activism and enthusiastic media presence but, with a rider- after you have suffered!

Go to the railway station or airport nothing in order could be seen. World class city or a capital city- Delhi is certainly not, you feel this brainwave after visiting these public places. Traffic is the most abused word in this city of around 15 million people. Please compare Delhi among Indian cities only- and it scores much better than all other Indian cities in terms of global connectivity and urban infrastructure.

Night life is missing but, watering-holes are there, everywhere. Cosmopolitan character still seems a far cry but, at end of the day after long arm-chair discussions – we feel great love for this city.

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