Youth Journalism International
NEW DELHI, India For the past year and a half, the city of New Delhi has been
getting a makeover.
From building new hotels and guest houses, to widening the roads, to entirely
redoing the playing fields at the University of Delhi, Chief Minister Sheila
Dikshit has been determined to have the city spic, span and spacious for the
Commonwealth Games next month.
This frenzy of urban planning is not new in the world of international sporting
Prior to the 2008 Olympics, China, too, undertook major changes in terms of
infrastructure and planning.
Indeed, it is clear that hosting an international competition requires finances
However, there seem to be a few glitches in the foresight of the Indian
government when it comes to preparing my hometown for the Commonwealth Games.
To begin with, a year ago, Delhi-ites were promised that by mid-2010, there
would be nine metro lines in New Delhi, which would ease the traffic and
By mid-July, there were only three.
Central Delhi is entirely dug up and the famous Connaught Place is full of
potholes and ditches to the extent that it has been rebaptised Cannot Place
by inconvenienced shoppers.
Two months before the Commonwealth Games, Connaught Place was strewn with heaps
of building material, debris, and post-monsoon slush.
In July, part of stadium collapsed due to the excessive monsoon rains.
The Public Works Department is in a hurry, but it is disquieting that it would
see this as a reason to put lives in danger.
In the past year, it has not been uncommon to hear of collapsing metro
constructions, some of which have been the cause of deaths.
It is a fact well known that in the 2008 Olympics, China was unable to complete
its own makeover and resorted to camouflaging the least tidy parts of Beijing
One wonders, however, whether my hometown is doing any better by making an
enormous, haphazard construction site out of Indias capital.