NCR – Nightmare Capital Region

Do you believe that Mumbai is the worst city as far as traffic jams, water logging and crime is concerned?

Do you think Bangalore is very chaotic in the peak hours of traffic?

Then think again because NCR (The Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon belt) is here to beat both the cities. Gurgaon and Noida were slated to be the upcoming satellite towns which were supposed to elevated the National Capital region to another era of development. A few years down the line and you can hear horrifying stories of people stuck in endless traffic jams, power cuts, muddy water supplies and people frequently robbed off their belongings using brand new methods.

My Own Sob Story

Ever since I have shifted to Delhi from Chennai, my nightmare never seems to end. Chennai was paradise in comparison and I can’t stop being nostalgic. Anyways, on 14 August there was an announcement in my office that the buses would leave at 5 pm instead of their regular 6 pm timings because it was our Independence Day on the next day. I was hopeful that I might reach home on time. Around 4 pm it started raining cats and dogs. It was such a heavy downpour that I was quite sure of the impending doom.

That day I reached home at 12 am.

Yes, you read it right. It took me 7 hours to reach home. In fact for the first 2 hours the bus was not able to move even an inch because of the jam and it took the bus 5 hours to reach the Gurgaon Toll which is a 2 minute drive from my office during happy days. The streets were water clogged and there were vehicles parked in all the wrong places on the narrow roads. Result – Utter chaos.

The Mouse Trap called Udyog Vihar

Udyog Vihar is a huge area in Gurgaon where many Office complexes are situated including mine. Its just on your left as soon as you cross the Toll if you are coming from Dhaula Kuan. The whole area is a trap specially when its raining or during the peak office hours.

I would really like to meet the planner of Udyog Vihar and kick his sorry ass with so much might that his next seven generations are going to reel in pain. The foolish guy designed the whole office complex as if he was designing a residential colony. Narrow lanes and huge offices. Its something like this –

So you can very well imagine what would happen when it rains very heavily and all the narrow roads are water clogged and more than 50 office buses and hundreds of cars wrestle for space to reach the main highway. I could never understand why it was planned like this. Leaving aside people who stay at far away places, if you are living in Gurgaon, it might take you anything between 1-3 hours to reach home in peak time. And all this is happening when Gurgaon is occupied only upto 40% of its capacity. Imagine the plight when it would be 90% occupied!!

The toll is another sob story. If you are fortunate enough to get away from the narrow roads, you can easily waste 15-30 minutes at the toll if you don’t have a tag. Huge snaking rows of vehicles can be seen there even at midnight.

Waterlogging and Delhi

MCD is one department which I fail to understand. Water logging is nothing new in Delhi but this is one department which have been very consistently successful in not providing a solution. Delhites have one

option now – Pray to god that he stops sending rains towards the city. We don’t want them anymore. Let us live in peace.

According to this report, even the water logging near the Prime Minister’s house a day before the Independence Day celebrations could not move MCD in action. They blamed it on Gods and told that its not their fault that there was too much rain in such a small span of time.

The Growth and its disadvantages

India has been developing at a phenomenal rate and the number of people who have the money to buy a car have increased many-fold. Result – According to this report, Delhi already has 51 lakh vehicles on road with 950 vehicles being added daily. I won’t be surprised if one day we won’t have space to walk. What is now required is a robust public transportation system so that people don’t find the need to take out their cars. Its a distant dream but lets not give up hopes.

Water Water everywhere, not a drop to drink

Whenever I ask someone about the problems about living in Noida, the first concern which is raised is – Water availability. I was shocked to see yellow coloured water in one of my friend’s house. People have to store water in their houses because there is no definite water supply available and the water is generally muddy and inadequate by all standards.

Another problem is public transportation. If you are staying in Noida or Gurgaon and you don’t have a car, then you are doomed. There are no public buses or autorikshaws(in Gurgaon) available and all you can depend upon is your local rikshaw wala. The situation is severe specially in Gurgaon.

Solutions anyone?

Electricity and water are two very basic necessities which are the responsibility of the Government authorities but we have to make sure that we are not misusing them. We all know this but sadly, knowing something and implementing something are two different things. Pool vehicles whenever possible and save resources whenever possible.

Three things to be realized –

  • As Spiderman’s uncle said – With great power come great responsibility. The government needs to understand that.
  • The past always has a tricky way of coming back and biting you on the ankle – Zadie Smith.
  • We need to stop multiplying like cockroaches, otherwise there is really no solution which could help us.

And, oh, before I forget in all my frustration. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!! 😀

[All the photos are taken by me while I twirled my fingers stuck in the jam. The diagram is created by me]