Mind your pees & queues for the Delhi Games
With just six months to go before India hosts the Commonwealth Games, some are already wondering whether New Delhi is loo-ready for the sporting extravaganza.
The capital is preparing to host more than 100,000 foreign visitors for the October Games, seen as an opportunity to show off the city as a major global destination.
Authorities have started worrying about the thousands of tourists — especially when it comes to answering the call of nature.
The sight of people urinating by the roadside is so common that residents turn a blind eye to the problem. But it’s not the lasting memory of New Delhi the city’s tourism department wants to give visitors.
To make it easier on the bladder, authorities will soon launch a Delhi “loo-map“, one that will inform tourists where public toilets are located.
The city municipality has also unveiled plans to construct 300 public toilets before the Games. And squeaky-clean ones at that. The loos are to be built in partnership with fast-food chains which will run them and woo customers.
Unfortunately, more restrooms and better sanitation is just one solution. Critics say the problem is poor civic sense and not just a lack of public urinals.
Just a few months ago, Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said Delhi residents need an “attitude makeover” if they wanted to prove themselves good hosts for the Commonwealth Games.
Delhi is infamous for ignoring queues, leaving garbage in the street and road rage.
Authorities do want to give it a makeover, one that also involves no urinating or spitting in public by its residents.
Taxi and rickshaw drivers are being trained to be courteous by the tourism ministry. As for the rest, the government is coming up with a list of dos and don’ts which will turn New Delhi into a “sophisticated city“.
That’s the image authorities want tourists to take back with them, irrespective of India’s showing at the Commonwealth Games.