The Indian Standard!!!


A big Hurrah for the dilliwallahs – Delhi has emerged as the most “liveable” city according to the ‘Livability Index 2010’ i.e. a report based on a study conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Institute for Competitiveness, India.

Delhi garnered top honours in education, economic, safety and security. But is it really so? I have lived there for almost a decade and cant help but punch holes in this rating.

Education – I think most of the parents who queue up for nursery admissions every year for their kids would vouch for it. The kind of reverence bestowed upon the various schools by the parents is half crazed. There is mass hysteria for admission forms, points to be collected in the form of distance from the school, another sibling/ parent already from the school and what not. Yes Education is top notch business in Delhi.

Economic – The quantum of people who migrate to Delhi and its satellite towns for work opportunities every year is an indication of its economic growth. The killer competition at work, the working hours to be put in and top that with the commute over long distances and hideous traffic snarls – a very conducive formula for economic growth. I guess the HR companies make the most moolah – well they have certainly burgeoned in the past in Delhi. Ever been to Nehru place? The pillars and walls are plastered with job adverts from these so called HR companies, stained red, yellow, and brown with what have you not!!! So going by the business of the HR companies, there is certainly economic growth in Delhi.

Safety – Are you kidding me? The number of rapes – make that sensational rapes and murders that have been in the news over the years, is huge. Jessica Lall, Nitesh Kataria, Priyadarshani Matto, Shivani Bhatnagar, naina sahani – to name a few……. I think Delhi should be rated as the most unsafe city for women at least. And the law does look the other way most of the times. University students being pulled into a car raped and then dumped; a German tourist raped and dumped outside a popular cultural centre – I wonder what the rape and murder statistics of an ‘unsafe’ city look like???

Security – yes for the right people!! The A B C… Z cover provided to the rich and the famous is certainly a measure for the security measures in the city. Not to mention what their cavalcade does to the traffic situation in the city.

And what about the stench of pee on roadsides or the sight of men urinating in a line against walls in most frequented spots like Connaught place; or the brown stains of paan / tobacco at every nook and pillar; the tendency to litter and spit at will; vandalism of a national monument/ traffic snarls- all under the guise of political unrest  – under what heading is all this tabulated?

The problems of infrastructure development, power and water woes, waste management, housing needs, roads network, traffic snarls – all add up to a city lacklustre in world class standards.

But if this is the top city out of the 37 reviewed – India is indeed in a bad shape.

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