Delhi musings: ‘Yellow Alert’ in the capital adds to residents' woes

'Yellow alert’ of severely bad weather that could change for the worse, causing disruption in everyday life, got Dilliwalahs scrambling to ‘Google’ the term

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Representational image
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Giraj Sharma

Dilliwalahs this winter are not just facing antics of our man AK and the municipalities but also threats from dengue-spreading mosquitoes, the new variants of the virus and the particulate matter suspended in the city’s winter air. The sudden drop in temperature, that forced the weather department to issue a ‘yellow alert’ for the national capital, added to their woes.

Most Dilliwalahs had only heard of a ‘red alert’ so far and that too in generic terms. Therefore, this ‘yellow alert’ of severely bad weather that could change for the worse, causing disruption in everyday life, got Dilliwalahs scrambling to ‘google’ the term. Thank you Larry Page and Sergey Brin for helping us understand weather department’s warnings among other things.

Alerts for no reason: At least the IMD issues warnings after analysis of data; but the alerts, warnings and threats that Delhi or Union Government now-a-days issue indiscriminately at the drop of a hat, are often generic and without any specific cause of action. Real time data-linked alerts, anyone?

Your car’s pollution certificate is going to lapse; your vehicle has completed 10 or 15 years depending on if it has run on diesel or petrol - they often warn and threaten to slap you with a hefty fine. Never mind that you got your pollution certificate last week or your car is not yet three years old. Warnings have no bearing on your car’s emission levels.

Another frequent and favourite warning delivered religiously is to wear masks or else. Even if you are driving all by yourself with no one else in the car – beware of Delhi Police lurking round the corner to slap a challan or ticket. No point wondering whom they are trying to protect – the nodding dog on the dashboard or the Tibetan flag-thread hanging inside the car?

CCTV in DTC buses: No one, however, seems to be warning our man AK on the consequences of unmet promises. He made quite a few promises during the build up to elections in 2015, which stay unfilled till now. Take for instance the promise to install CCTV cameras in DTC buses for women’s safety. And women safety has been made out to be a major civic issue with media outlets calling Delhi unsafe for women. From a RTI reply one now learns that no CCTV camera has been fitted in any DTC bus till now.

Now who will warn AK or his party of any action when even the Election Commission doesn’t seem to bother about what goes into a contestant’s or party’s manifesto? No wonder our man AK is promising the moon in Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand. For a party which collected donations from public in 2014-15, AAP does seem to have hit the jackpot.

Snooping at night: It is not that people in Delhi increasingly distrust the government, AK and his government too distrusts people with as much intensity. What else can explain the state government’s threat of carrying out surprise inspections at night to check on construction activities?

If you are carrying on construction at night even at home, you are warned of penal action! The only exception is the construction in the Central Vista, where construction is on 24x7!

Muft Yoga & Shirshasana: To balance out the stress, Delhi government has however taken an innovative step. It is encouraging people to do Yoga in groups. If a group of at least 25 people get together to regularly do Yoga, then the Yoga instructor will be provided by the Delhi government. Muft Yoga after Muft vaccine?

So, if pollution, the pandemic, the yellow alert, the warring municipal corporations and state government, the out of sync LG of Delhi and the AAP government are causing you palpitations,go ahead, form a group and call for the ‘free’ Yoga instructor.

The Union Minister of Finance in particular, will be the happiest because economic indices and graphs look much better when one sees them upside down while doing Shirshasana–the headstand.

(The writer blogs at stateofdelhi.in)

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