Friday, October 30, 2009

2010 Games a boon for Delhi

Thanks to the Commonwealth Games, 2010, that Delhi will host in less than a year from now, the city is experiencing a cosmetic change which will catapult the cosmopolitan into the league of the biggest and the best cities of the world for it is being decked up to host one of the greatest events in the history of the sub-continent

One needs to fill up reams to define Delhi, the city that has closely held in its bosom thousands of years of history of a nation that has undergone massive changes unparalleled in the bygone times. The complexities, the contradictions, the beauty and the dynamism of this city where the past amalgamates with the present, bear testimony to the fact that many dynasties ruled from here and contributed to its diverse cultural elements that are often reflected in the character of this city and its residents. No wonder, exploring the various facets of the city can be a fascinating and rewarding experience.

The charm that attracted emperors, conquerors and the poor equally is still inherent despite Delhi now being a cosmopolitan society. With time the city has evolved itself providing a perfect blend of both ancient and modern cultures. Nevertheless, in current times, Delhi is experiencing a cosmetic change which will catapult the city into the league of the biggest and the best cities of the world for it is being decked up to host one the greatest events in the history of the sub-continent

The pace of face-lifting Delhi is experiencing in current times refreshes the memories of Asiad 82, when the capital city underwent a cosmetic change that generations hadn't experienced before. Twenty seven years down the line, the same frantic pace is being observed by the Delhiites as Delhi gears up to welcome a million foreign visitors for much bigger sport event - Commonwealth Games-2010. Hosting a sporting event at a scale such as the Commonwealth Games is a matter of international prestige for the country, and is bound to boost brand India. With less than a year remaining for the Queen's baton to arrive amidst cheer and euphoria at the opening ceremony of the XIX Commonwealth Games on October 3, 2010, the city is undergoing a transformation that is unprecedented. There is little doubt that the improved infrastructure and appearance of the host city, and global media exposure will serve to transform the image of the city.

One of the sectors that is witnessing huge improvements is transportation. Government as such can take no chances when it comes to handling transport system of the capital that has a reputation of perpetual chaos on the roads. Projects like flyovers, bypasses, broader roads, a larger metro system, an integrated rail bus transport system and a high capacity bus system are already in the various stages of completion. These will all serve cumulatively to ease traffic congestion and transit for Delhi's citizens. The modernization of the Indira Gandhi International Airport will treble capacity and go a long way towards improving connectivity within India and with the rest of the world. Apart from this, two new power plants to enhance electricity supply, improved water distribution and solid waste management systems will add considerably to the Delhi citizen's comfort levels post Games.

The change being initiated is multipronged. After all catering to a valued army of one million foreign guests is no easy task. From Delhi's airport which is being modernized, upgraded and expanded to handle the huge influx of passenger traffic to a dedicated Metro line from the airport to the city centre in Connaught Place; from a four-lane, 2.2 km underground stretch from Ring Road to Lodhi Road which will link the Games Village to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, reducing traveling time for athletes to a total of 1,100 new low-floor, high-capacity air-conditioned buses which will ply on Delhi roads by 2010 to ease commuting; from initiative to increase production to over 5,880 mega watts (MW) from the current 4,500 MW to Delhi Jal Board's enormous efforts to boost water supply from the current 670 million gallons per day (MGD) to 941 MGD, every resource in the hands of the government of Delhi has been employed to realize the big dream.

Clock is ticking and each passing day is a test which every Delhiites would want to pass with flying colors. Because besides earning accolades from the global observers of the mega event, one of the legacies of the event will be that it will leave behind a city much more beautiful and charming than it currently is.