After the meeting was over, Mr. Seth told us, “The people of Delhi always keep complaining. They complain about the dirty roads, poor hygiene conditions, horrid traffic and what not! This constant complaining has put us in an introspection mode. Yes, we admit there are a few minor problems, but instead of complaining or passing the buck, we at MCD have decided to exploit these problems to our advantage… You see, if the brook can’t pass over the mountain, it has to pass under it!”
The MCD’s plan for the city is pretty simple. Since the potholes are covered with roads irreparable (and not the other way round), sewers are choked, and the drainage system is older than the Bollywood superstar Dev Anand—it is of no use to try and botch up the things. Also, with the arrival of the monsoon, life for Delhiites is only going to be a lot more miserable. Taking cognizance of all the existing and resulting problems, MCD has simply planned to let rain water fill up the roads and lanes.
With this, the municipality plans a literal ‘channelising’ of resources. Assistant Director Surjeet Singh said, “We are pleased to inform you that we are fully prepared for this Monsoon. We have already warned our zonal officers against the use of pumps for clearing water from roads, streets and lanes. This much precaution should be enough, thanks to the harrowing state of our system.”
While the people are excited about the whole idea of ‘Venicifying’ Delhi, the Opposition has slammed the proposal as ‘ridiculous’. Leader of Opposition Rajat Mithra let loose, “This is a clear attempt by MCD to hide its inactivity, apathy and to some extent its incapability.” The MCD however appeared unfazed by the criticism. When we asked whether MCD is trying to wriggle out of actually finding a solution, Mr. Seth angrily replied, “You see, no matter how honest efforts we make, the press always brings out the negatives. This plan is like panacea for all the monsoon problems. There will no longer be traffic disruptions due to cave-ins, water logging and fallen trees. No accidents, no road rage, no jams! An exam will be conducted to fill twenty five hundred posts of coxswain—who will be trained in river Yamuna. This will provide employment to many. Travelling by boat will also reduce the pollution levels and city’s carbon footprint.”
According to the sources MCD has already started working on the project. After successfully coaxing NDMC, PWD and other civic agencies into letting it go ahead with the plans; it has now invited bids from various boat manufacturers. It is learned that the agency is also engaged in talks with New Delhi Tourism Ministry to organise ‘Boat Tours’ in Delhi, again following the popular trend in Venice. The tours will be organized on a revenue sharing basis between the two departments. A delegation of two hundred (only) MCD official is set to leave for Venice by an Air India flight. The delegation will spend a week in Venice to study its transportation and Municipal system. As Delhiites, we can only wait to see how successful this ‘Venicification’ is going to be!