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April 29th, 2012

Sewage and buck-passing. Delhi’s heritage deserves much, much better than this

Delhi, my home city now, is blessed with centuries of fabulous history, with some of the most amazing monuments you could wish for –  many of which are in a parlous state.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for the last couple of years will be familiar by now with my tales of neglect, abuse, encroachment upon the city’s (indeed, the country’s) historic sites.  It is little short of outrageous in a country that has plenty of money (never, ever doubt that) cash flows into politician’s pockets, into wasteful Commonwealth Games schemes, into mollycoddling our VVIPs, while the priceless heritage that belongs to all of us is ignored.

Don’t plead the poverty argument, India.  That will not wash.

So, suitably fired up, I am starting a new section of the blog to highlight the city’s heritage and history.  There will be lots of ranting, I give you due warning, but there will also be credit given whenever it is due.

To kick off my new Heritage Watch section, I give you Hauz Khas lake, centre-piece of one of the city’s most beautiful monuments, in an area that is hugely popular, with new shops and galleries and restaurants opening seemingly every week.

Read on for the usual tale of craven buck-passing that so often passes for governance in India.

I have marked a few things that caught my attention as I read this, and would welcome your thoughts/feedback.

(1) so the lake is clean, not in such a bad state, nothing was found to be wrong blah blah blah.

(2) No complaints received, eh ?  Well, I suggest the DDA-walas read this article, and I would also urge anyone who lives and works in Hauz Khas to complain. And complain.  And to keep on complaining until something is done.

(3) What ?  Buck-passed to INTACH ?

(4) DDA-walas please note this and refer back to (1) where you say the pollution control department found nothing wrong

(5) Private party ?  And this would be…?  Names,  ToI journalists, names please.  We need accountability here.

(6) Oh, gosh, 2 ministries also involved.

The plot thickens.  The possibilities for buck-passing get greater with every extra organisation involved.

And meanwhile the sewage water tap gets opened.

I would like to share with you some photos I took at Hauz Khas 2 1/2 years ago.

I blogged about it at the time.

So, DDA people, I presume that between November 2009 and April 2012, the lake was pristine, and I just chose a bad day, as did the ToI reporters ?

These poor men, using tyres to stay afloat, were dog-paddling through the scummy water, agitating it. Sort of pushing all the muck around and splashing the filth around.

There are times (many, many times) when I think that this city doesn’t really deserve such a rich historical legacy.

4 comments to Sewage and buck-passing. Delhi’s heritage deserves much, much better than this

  • Jane Laver

    Well if it involves money flowing away from said pockets, you cnn’t really expect the ministries will be bothered…

  • Il est 2 heures du matin à Paris et je suis quasiment connectée directement grâce à toi à tout un continent… Amazing… C’est fou ! Dommage que mon anglais ne me permette pas de comprendre tout… Icomment vas ton français? Puis je te faire des commentaires dans ma langue car mon anglais écrit ne suffit pas

  • Merci cherie et oui, fais tes commentaries en francais. Et je suis sure que tu comprennes tout ! X

  • Mais l’Inde a ses secrets que nul ne peut comprendre ….sans y vivre depuis longtemps! J’y suis restée seulement 15 jours au rajhastan et une virée à bénares iet en +en voyage organisé…autrement dit en cage… Il se fait tard à Paris 1heure du matin …et demain je vais avoir une tête affreuse 😉 x

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