Indian Decade

Delhi Development Angst

Rapid changes being forced on Delhi for the Commonwealth Games are not welcome by all.

I have written several times about the rapid changes being forced on Delhi as it prepares for the Commonwealth Games in October. At less than five months away, both aesthetic remodeling and infrastructural additions still seem a far away dream. Every street seems that much more dug up and things are consistently getting worse, at least in my eyes. Favourite joints in some locations have lost their charm, and going back to old haunts is often disillusioning.

Clearly, I’m not alone in my angst. In an article in the popular news weekly, Outlook, a former foreign secretary and well-known diplomat Salman Haidar has written a terrific piece. He has said so aptly what many of us feel so strongly. Historically, we have seen great cities flourish in a period of economic progress. Not so in India, it seems. Mumbai, a great city, dies one more death every day, with little hope that anybody can revive its woeful infrastructure and civic pride. I don’t think Delhi is there, yet. But, how come even a new beginning here doesn’t seem to promise a sunny dawn?