'Delhi's Railway Stations Need Sprucing Up'
By Vinayak Chatterjee
Published: 13th Apr 2014 06:00:00 AM
I have seen Delhi through its different and myriad hues. It is a city that is buzzing, busy and always on the move. The city has from the late sixties changed from being the bureaucratic capital to a buzzing metropolis and it has changed for good.
Delhi now has some world-class infrastructure, like the Indira Gandhi International Airport that handles nearly 800 flights a day or about 73 take-offs and landings in an hour.
Or the Delhi Metro, the rapid transit system that serves Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad in the National Capital Region of India. It has an enviable network with world-class stations and systems. The Delhi Metro is run by thorough professionals and its operations are not only meticulous but better than many metro systems world over.
Delhi also boasts the world’s largest fleet of CNG buses and a sizeable number of CNG or LPG-run private vehicles. The CNG fleet has helped Delhi clear its skies of pollution but there still is a lot of scope for improvement. The intensive fight to rid Delhi of pollution has yielded definitive results and the large fleet of CNG vehicles has done Delhi a lot of good.
I also like the boldness and courage of the political and the bureaucratic system which has been able remove the erstwhile Delhi Electric Supply Corporation and replace it with private distribution companies.
This not only ensured uninterrupted power supply to the capital but led to power saving as Delhi’s notorious transmission and distribution losses were one of the prime reasons that led to frequent power cuts in the city. These have now been effectively contained.
What the capital now needs is to privatise its water management system. This will help tackle the tanker mafia menace and contain water wastage. The government now regularly interacts with the Resident Welfare Associations. It is a good way to create a dialogue with different stakeholders and also allows for better understanding for policy formulation and implementation.
But there are several further changes that I would like to see in the city. I feel Delhi Police should report to the Delhi Government. The development of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) corridor or the number of flyovers that have been constructed without an integrated plan has not gone down well with the city.
The two railway stations in Delhi are in desperate need of a facelift. These gateways to the capital always showcase what the city would be like and certainly need to be spruced up.
The city’s ever-growing population needs to be dispersed to the neighbouring satellite towns to reduce the burden on Delhi’s infrastructure. The Regional Rapid Transport system which is now being thought of to carry passengers to the satellite towns is 10 years too late. These systems should have been place already.
The concept of NCR Board has also failed and I want to know what is the legitimacy of such a board when it is not able to effectively contribute to the development of the city. The development of sleeper towns is also late by a decade. The capital is vibrant, it needs certain and immediate changes, especially in infrastructure, for it to become a global city.
(Chatterjee is chairman, Feedback Ventures (As told to Samiran Saha))
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