Thursday, 7 January 2010

Civilized Delhi: Long way to go

Delhi is leaving no stone unturned to overhaul its infrastructure and transport system for meeting the demands of the upcoming Commonwealth Games, but it still faces one of the most daunting tasks, that is to groom its citizens to behave courteously while travelling.

Delhiites have gained a dubious distinction of being discourteous, especially when they use public transport, and now this attitude has become a headache for the authorities, who blame it on degradation of values of citizens.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who wants the sporting extravaganza to be a memorable one for tourists, had recently announced that her government would launch a campaign to "change the way the society behaves so that it becomes more caring and also sharing". But it does not seem to have any effect on the citizens of the national capital, which is expected to receive about 1,00,000 tourists and 9,000 athletes and officials from the 71 Commonwealth nations during the mega event.

"Value system has degraded. People have grown selfish and see their comfort. Some passengers get into a tiff with co-travellers and do not leave their seats," rues DTC spokesperson R K Kasana.

"We received a number of complaints of passenger misbehaviour during the past year. The situation forced us to paste stickers reserving four seats each for ladies, senior citizens and needy in each coach," said Anuj Dayal, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) spokesperson.

"We have launched these initiatives for the convenience of travellers, but they can be successful only with people's cooperation," Dayal told PTI.

Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) also has a similar seat reservation system, but officials feel "passengers need to be cooperative to make these initiatives a success.

"Had people realised their responsibilities as sincere citizens, there would not have been any need for such reservations," he said. On the issue of security of passengers, especially women commuters, Kasana said, "DTC has framed guidelines which empowers its drivers and conductors to ask a misbehaving passenger to leave the bus." They can hand over an erring passenger to the police, if required, he said.

"CISF is responsible for security arrangements at all metro stations," Dayal said, referring to the security measures adopted by the DMRC. "Inside the trains, we have passenger alarm buttons to establish contact with train driver. A person who needs help can contact the driver and he will do the needful," he said, adding that each train has around twelve such buttons.

Pointing out that the driver was the only DMRC employee on each train, he said, "It is for the commuters to cooperate and make things move smoothly." The DMRC has also taken strict measures to keep its stations and trains clean and any one found littering and spitting inside metro premises is fined Rs 200. "The fine is not for the books only. We extract it from the offender and if a person desists from paying the fine, we hand him over to higher authorities for appropriate action," he said.

To catch offenders red-handed, DMRC has "special flying squads" which pay surprise visits to metro stations and trains and catch anyone flouting the rules.

The DMRC has also launched a citizen voluntary movement under which trained volunteers inform passengers about 'dos and donts' to maintain security and cleanliness inside metro stations and trains.

DTC, however, has no such provision. When asked, Kasana said, "One should not compare DTC with metro. Metro has a dedicated line and premises, but we have an open area to cover.

M P Singh of Institute of Public Health and Hygiene-IPHH, a city-based NGO, feels, "Delhiites are not just aggressive and careless, they also lack civic sense."

"People here often ignore traffic rules and enter into an argument if objected," Singh said, adding this seems to be a major area of concern which the authorities have to look into ahead of the sporting event. Even the MCD has taken a call on the issue. It recently approved a legislation that allows a penalty of up to Rs 200 -- three times that of the existing penalty -- for those found littering, spitting and urinating in public and committing other similar offences.

Singh, however, believes that imposing fines would only have a marginal and short term effect on people. "Their mindset needs to be changed and it can be achieved through extensive awareness drives," he said.


Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails we are in

Sport Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory blogarama - the blog directory Sports blogs blog directory Blog Directory Golden - Links Web Directory Blog Collector Free Website Directory

Blog Directory Blog Directory

Follow this site

Link exchange | Internet Marketing