What Sheila Dikshit could have told the PM, giving an update on the CWG preparations
BV Rao | July 10, 2010
Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit met prime minister Manmohan Singh on July 1 to update him on the city’s preparations for the Commonwealth Games. There was not much in the papers on what exactly she told the Prime Minister. Sheila didn’t give much away either, telling The Hindu: “I updated the Prime Minister about the preparations for the Commonwealth Games.”
So to bring you the minute details of what transpired at the meeting we had to find this fly on the wall, which was not easy considering that Race Course is a no-fly zone. But we managed, so here goes:
Sir, (that’s Sheila Dikshit talking), if you are reading the papers daily and worrying about our preparations for the Commonwealth Games, stop reading the papers, sir. I’m here to give you the real picture and the real picture, sir, is not that bad. Photoshop allows us to make every picture a pretty picture.
Yes, Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, the main venue of the games, is not fully ready. Yes, Talkatora stadium is the only venue that is fully ready. Yes, we have given up hope that Connaught Place, our tourist showpiece, will be ready at all. But sir, there’s a whole lot of stuff that is ready and raring to go. Take, for instance, Gali no. 4, Kali Bari, near Mandir Marg (my constituency, sir). This road has been paved and street-scaped fully. Similarly every unused corner of every pavement in the back lanes of Lodhi Colony, Sundar Nagar, Hauz Khas, GK, Mehrauli, Pragati Maidan and other areas has been redone with red sandstone.
Sir, these pavements are looking so beautiful that we can stop feeling sorry for Delhi’s pavement-dwellers. And yet they say these Games do nothing for the aam admi!
Of course sir, when we organise a Games of this size, there will be some hiccups here and there. As I said earlier some big projects are behind schedule and nobody is more worried about this than I am. That’s why sir, I have commissioned my entire Cabinet to personally monitor all the Games projects. My Finance and Education ministers will monitor all projects in East Delhi; my Health minister will oversee projects in South Delhi; Welfare minister in North Delhi. And, sir, guess what I have asked my PWD minister to monitor: All the projects of the PWD ministry! (The prime minister nods in acknowledgement of Sheila’s mastery in work allotment.)
As for me, sir, I will be handling Suresh Kalmadi and his tantrums. You know, sir, that’s a 24x7 assignment.
Sir, every minor detail has been planned. We have decided to build 250 ultra-modern toilet complexes. The toilets will be on the ground floor and on top will be coffee houses and shops to help the toilet complexes self-sustain. We want to call them “Coffee Upon Convenience” centres. Some names like “Take It or Leak It” and “Fill-or-Spill” also came up for discussion but I thought they were rather crude.
Sir, at every sports venue we are putting up condom vending machines. Apart from spreading the message of safe-sex and fighting AIDS, this will ensure people don’t pay much attention to the quality of the sporting events which we all know is no great shakes, no matter what Kalmadi keeps promising.
Sir, everything is on course. We are confident that we can complete all the pending works just before the Games. At worst, we will complete them just after the Games. Big deal, sir. We all know this is less about the Games and more about Delhi.
I know, sir, people are making a lot of noise about the expenditure on the Games. Some are saying the Games will cost Delhi Rs 10,000 crore. A brand new global city in just Rs 10,000 crore, ha! Sometimes I want to tell these ignoramuses the real cost of the Games…except that I have no idea either. (The Prime Minister gestures as if to say, me neither.)
In short and on the whole, Prime Minister, we are fully prepared to host the best Games ever.
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