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Inside Delhi

A nightmare

on the roads

For the past few years the Delhi Government has been patting itself on the back with claims of having eased traffic congestion on the Capital's crowded streets and roads, particularly on Ring Road, by constructing new flyovers at busy intersections. Certainly the situation has improved, but the Government's assertions are not wholly correct as several traffic-related problems still remain.

For instance, take the case of bus stops just before and after various flyovers that have now become major bottlenecks hindering smooth movement of traffic. For motorists, driving smoothly on flyovers over busy intersections might be a welcome change but what they face before ascending and after descending from these structures is a real nightmare.

Be it the Maharani Bagh flyover, the AIIMS flyover, the Africa Avenue flyover, the Moti Bagh flyover or any other flyover on the long Ring Road and elsewhere, the problem remains the same. Buses as well as auto-rickshaw drivers stop their vehicles just before and after these flyovers only to block movement of traffic. This is also one of the main causes behind several accidents on Ring Road.

Another factor that the flyover planners and traffic regulators have ignored while trying to make vehicular movement smooth on Ring Road is giving minimum road space for those approaching it. The traffic signal remains green for a very short duration irrespective of the fact that traffic volume from the left and right sides of the road is also heavy.

Take the case of the Moolchand flyover. Those approaching from the South and Central Delhi and wanting to turn right towards Ring Road have to wait for as long as 15 minutes during peak hours due to the short duration of green signal. While waiting time at this signal is over three minutes, the light here turns green only for 15 seconds thus leading to long queues of vehicles at the signal.

`Demanding' karamcharis

Safai karamcharis can also at times become very `demanding' and even refuse to remove the garbage. A resident of Laxmi Nagar has been experiencing something similar for about a fortnight now and all this is happening in the neighbourhood of the Delhi Mayor, A. R. Verma.

The family of R. N. Dubey is a harassed lot these days. The local safai karamchari has not been collecting the household garbage, which she has been doing daily for the past several years, because the family refused to give her Rs.2,000 demanded by her after the marriage of their son.

Not only this, the safai karmacharis' leader has allegedly warned Mr. Dubey's family that they would dump garbage in front of their house if the said amount was not paid. "We are willing to give them at the most Rs.500. But the amount being demanded is nothing but extortion. These safai karamcharis have monopolised the garbage collection system. They are not allowing others to come in this area," he alleges.

Though, Mr. Dubey's neighbours have requested him not to budge, as this would set a wrong precedent, the colony residents are apprehensive of opening up a joint front against this unruly group of safai karamcharis.

Even Mr.Verma and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi officials have so far failed to come to their rescue. "These are private safai karamcharis. We cannot help much," the Mayor said as he himself feared an angry reaction from these people if he tried to take action. At the most, he assured Mr. Dubey's family that he would direct the MCD officials to ensure that their garbage was removed every day.

"But this was not being done on a daily basis. No one is coming to our rescue," rued Mr. Dubey.

Another cool spot

An amusement-cum-water park called "Fun Town'' has come up on the Delhi-Rohtak Road barely 25 km from Peeragarhi Chowk in Delhi adding to the list of cool spots to which one can escape to beat the scorching summer heat. Apart from horse and camel rides and various types of swings, the park has facilities for para-gliding as well.

A water park inside this huge and sprawling entertainment complex has a "multi-racer", a "black hole", a "magic twist", family slides and many other rides to attract kids. Those who have not been to the seashore can enjoy and relax in the wave pool which gives the feeling of being in Goa right in the heart of Delhi. The central attraction of this park is an aqua dance floor for young couples. And in case you are upset with life, the park's Charlie Chaplin will take care of you. There is a special arrangement for staying in a resort, well equipped with gym, swimming pool and various other indoor games. Week-end packages are available at the resort.

"The park is not only meant for the rich people, but also for the common man and those belonging to the middle class. The entry fee is relatively cheap,'' claims Jagdeep Singh, Vice-President of Fun Town.

By Sandeep Joshi,

Lalit K. Jha and K. Kannan

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