Thursday, April 1, 2010

Breaking News: Leak Reveals Chief Minister Dikshit is Planning Major Green Policy Shifts

Major Changes Planned in Transportation, Water and Commerce; Commonwealth Games in Question

An anonymous source close to Delhi Chief Minister Shelia Dikshit says the CM will announce a major shift in policy this Earth Day, April 22.

“Smt. Dikshit had an epiphany as the lights went out for Earth Hour this past weekend,” said our source in a note obtained by the Dhaba.  “At that moment, sitting in the dark, she realized that the time for empty symbolism was over—now is the time for real leadership for a new millennium.”

The note from our source was written in a simple school copy, and was found in a suitcase dropped outside the Dhaba sometime between midnight and 5 am this morning.  Also found in the suitcase was what appeared to be the draft text of Chief Minister Dikshit ’s Earth Day 2010 speech and a 2,354 page document, stamped TOP SECRET, and titled, “Green Delhi Development Plan 2010 (G2DP)”.  The plan details steps to be taken by a variety of government bodies, including the MCD, the Delhi Jal Board, the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee and other major stakeholders.`

It will obviously take some time to analyze the huge impact this initiative will have on the future of all aspects of life in Delhi.  But from the information we have here, we can piece together the broad outlines of the major policy shifts to be announced.

1. Transportation

The G2DP calls for continued funding for the metro and a further increase in new buses for the Delhi Transit Authority; a roll back in fares for all riders will be funded by a major increase in the taxes charged for the purchase of new diesel cars and SUV’s.  “Though we will finish all flyovers where construction is already underway,” our source says, “no new flyovers will be built by this administration.” Funds earlier marked for flyover construction will go toward construction of the safe cycle lanes recently demanded by cycle-rickshaw operators.  

The remainder of the "flyover savings" will go toward a pair of major green initiatives.  The first will clean up the Yamuna once and for all; the second will to insure that all Delhi residents have access to clean drinking water a toilet by 2015.  "The CM knows that no city can be called "World Class" as long as it's citizens continue to die from unsafe drinking water."

As for the CM’s recent threat to remove autorickshaws from the streets of Delhi, those are plans are apparently dead.  “The CM admits that her talk last week about replacing autos with electric cars was just that—talk. CNG powered autorickshaws are a cheap, environmentally friendly way to get people from their homes to their neighborhood metro stations or bus stop,” says our source.  “It’s the large SUV’s that are our biggest problem, and we plan to phase them out at the earliest.  Beginning June 1, carpooling will be mandatory for SUV's, which will will be required to carry at least three passengers or face stiff fines.”

The CM is clearly trying to smooth the ruffled feathers of Delhi autorickshaw drivers; according to the draft text of her Earth Day speech, she will offer them conciliatory words: “I apologize for suggesting all Delhi autowallas are rude! I meant to say,
all Dilliwallas are rude—and we should be proud of it! Forget what the MCD said a few months back; in their heart, every tourist likes to haggle over prices, and to observe public urination, littering  and spitting up close.  And who doesn't get a rush from shoving in line a bit--it's all part of the Delhi experience!” 

On a related note, our source says that all talk about banning beggers from Delhi streets was "just a big misunderstanding."  He suggests that a low-level official--probably from the South--mistakenly translated the slogan, "Garibi Hatau"  as "Banish Poor People."  "The CM regrets not having caught the error sooner and and has assured the cabinet she will sack the responsible party."

2. Shopping and Commerce

According to the suitcase full of documents we have obtained, the Delhi government is aiming to revamp to way we do business in the NCR.  The CM apparently realizes she was off the mark when she recently suggested we need to make street vendors more "green" through state-of-the-art solar powered carts.  "What was I thinking?" says the draft Earth Day speech. "Street vendors are some of the most sustainable, eco friendly businesses we have in's the huge shopping malls that sell expensive imported stuff that we don't need that are the problem!" 

Without going into too much detail here, beginning April 1, 2011, Delhi will require all malls to switch from AC's to water coolers through the month of June or the onset of the monsoon, whichever comes first. "The CM knows it's not enough, but we have to start somewhere," says our source.  "We'll also be instituting a 'carbon tax' on imported goods and food stuffs. And we'll be asking everyone to show their pride in our city by joining the 'Buy Local Only' campaign."

3. Commonwealth Games

In the final, and undoubtedly the most controversial, section of G2DP 2010, the CM is suggesting Delhi replace the Commonwealth Games with The Commonwealth Science Olympiad.  

The Delhi state government has no direct authority to implement this part of the plan, but our source says that having seen India’s performance in the 2008 Olympic Games, many members of the UPA cabinet have secretly been looking for an excuse to back out of the Commonwealth Games, though they would never admit it publicly.  According to our source, “replacing the CWG with an international Science Olympiad gives us a chance to highlight something we are actually good at—and we all know that GreenTech is part of the solution to our environmental problems!  I'm convinced Sonia Gandhi will get behind this idea 100 percent.”

Under the G2DP, CWG stadiums will be retrofitted to serve as a green technology park; the Games Village will provide homes to some of the many people made homeless by slum demolitions that have occurred in recent years. “It’s a little late in the game to be changing plans like this,” concedes our source, “but we think that once we explain how serious our social and environmental challenges are, the other members of the Commonwealth will understand. And really, what choice do they have?  Delhi is a great city because of the people who live and work right here--any fool can see that!"

Have a great day!


  1. Is this an April fool day post or actually something is going to happen. I don't trust Indian Political race.

  2. Well, I think it makes too much sense to actually happen! But who knows? As I found when researching the 'story' the truth is often more bizarre-sounding than fiction. Still, maybe dreams do come true!

  3. You almost had me taken in there for a moment!

  4. It really does seem that everything in Delhi is justified as necessary for the CWG--and greenwash is liberally applied, in places you would never expect it! I almost can't believe the real news sometimes!

  5. Teehee. Enjoyed this. Too sensible for it to come true anytime soon, sadly, no? Did you happen to read Mani Shankar Aiyar's dissenting comments on the CWG? It was an interesting dissenting voice from among the political class, that too one of the same ilk.

  6. @Sabitha, you are right, that is an interesting voice of dissent; his politics seem to have shifted in later life in surprising ways. Good to see you here.


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