The city drew millions of people from across the country in the last few years and simply hasn't keep up. Add to that an incredibly unstable state government and you have a city that can no longer service its residents. There's garbage everywhere, rude people, broken roads (which when left that way, attract more garbage because no one really cares anymore) and a complete lack of civic responsibility. The monsoons have made it worse! People get stuck in traffic jams for hours. Even in nicer neighborhoods, we lose power for half a day because of the rains.
I'm a proud Indian but I lose complete hope when I observe the current state of Indian cities.
For its reputation as a garden and tech city, I'm not impressed.
Here are some things that in my opinion make this one of the worst places to live:
- Filth, Garbage, lack of sanitation. Most of Delhi is filled with garbage. There is Garbage lying everywhere. People throw in out of their cars on roads while driving. People dump plastic bags filled with garbage to nearby streets on a daily basis.
- Pollution. Its monsoon season here in Delhi right now and for the first time in a year, I was able to spot a few stars in the sky last night. The rest of the year, the air is filled with a haze of noxious gases. I have seen vehicles emitting large plume of white smoke and no traffic policeman cares to stop them and ask for their pollution certificate. Garbage dumps mentioned by the OP are literally like mountains with smoke emanating from various parts all the time.
- Lack of space. Ok. There is no space in Delhi. For one to walk or jog.
- Angry culture. I am sad to say that I have never seen more road rage incidents anywhere else. People have very little patience and respect for fellow individuals seems to be missing more often than not.
Source: from there originally. Been there once in the last 10 years. Saw little had changed. Vowed never to go back.
India is a pervert's paradise. There are 10s of street children on any large street who will let you do anything in exchange for a meal. Sadly, for a short while, I lived at a place near where these kids were regularly dropped off. That's how I learned about it. The police won't talk about it (it'll make them look bad, plus they may actually be facilitating the process). The press won't talk about it I don't know why.
Everything in Slum Dog Millionaire is true. It happens. But before that movie, 50% of India didn't know it (the "better" half).
Women are raped inside police stations every day in India. By policemen. Who often get promotions after the act. There will still be Indians who will claim ignorance.
I was once in a commercial truck, and we were stopped in the middle of the road by the police. All our permits were in order. We still had to pay off the police to be allowed to move on.
The last time I was in India, the day I left the country, 50 people were killed by some group somewhere. In the news headlines, there was a statement from the Chief Minister of that state, from the Home Minister of India, and that's it. The news then moved on to what the Bachchans were up to that day. There were no names of the people killed. No clue who did it. There's no wikipedia page mentioning the massacre. If 10 people are killed in a Western Country, you can bet there's a wiki about it. With their names. And with a lot of closure on the incident.
It'll change. It'll take time. I'm hopeful. The internet will make a difference. Hopefully people will slow down breeding (my grandparents collectively had 20 cildren, I'm childfree for life).
Delhi has much stricter vehicular pollution norms than other Indian cities...and it adopts them first. All public transportation in Delhi runs on compressed natural gas. The first city in India to introduce Singapore style partitioning of vehicular traffic (the odd-even scheme was accepted enthusiastically By the common man at the cost of inconvenience). The Delhi Metro rapid rail is a feat of engineering having covered the entire city in record time under existing buildings that are hundreds of years old. There is general acceptance of traveling in the metro (where seeing people working on laptops is common).
In general as opposed o places like Bangalore the drive to create sustainable civic infrastructure is a commonly held belief and translates into local politics.
It will take time...but we are getting there.
Anyone know why?
I've heard people say "too many people", but too many people means a huge labor force that is low cost.
I would think that building a sewer system would be pretty straightforward. Massive countries like China have pretty good wastewater treatment (relatively speaking) in the cities. So do other developing countries.
Why is it such an issue in India?
The entire city doesn't look like this or lack sewage. Its just some hotspots.
I have lived in Delhi for couple of years before moving back to Bangalore. Delhi truly is the asshole of India.
Of these, an estimated third are fake employees. They do not exist, yet the government "pays" them. Their salaries are collected by corrupt officers to the tune of nearly $3M every year.
Now imagine entire mini cities rising up like this. How do go around building sewage drains? They too come up randomly, emptying into lakes, ponds, former rivers.
This is exactly the case near my home in Bangalore. 10 years after the houses were built municipal corporations are now putting in an after thought. In fact roads are so badly planned that there people who have encroached the entire section of the street discontinuing the road from one corner to the other. They get away by bribing local corporators.
Also there is no door-to-door garbage collection facilities so people discard household waste onto some corner in every street which has to be later cleaned by garbage men who show up once in 2-3 weeks, hence mosquitoes and dengue like diseases.
source: was tourist
relevant article picked at random: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/india-is-b...
On the other hand the streets in the Netherlands are littered with dog poo..
But like many such things in India, very few actually care: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/you-may-be-f....
In Hindi there is a saying, Apna Kaam Banta, Toh Bhaad Mein Jaaye Junta. Translation - If my work is done, I don't care - the rest can go to hell.
Delhi has no planning. Every "rich" area is right next to a slum. Saket has Khirki village, Def Col has Shiv Nagar, Green Park has Gautam Nagar.
My supposedly "rich" area of East of Kailash is right next to Garhi village, which is phenomenally filthy. It's absurd to me that people who live in million dollar houses and drive 50 lakh carsare so comfortable with open garbage dumps right outside their homes
There seems to be a prevailing attitude of "We are now in a phase of development as an economy. First world countries had an opportunity to grow without regulating pollution. Regulating us will inhibit our ability to catch up".
For some reason the literal end of the world isn't a strong enough argument for them. When I mention it, I am frequently told that it doesn't matter because no matter what is done, the outcome in terms of climate change is going to be the same at this stage.
Not that our problems aren't worth fixing, it's just a stark reminder that some places in the world remain uncivilized.
I am surprised by other commenters are well.
What shocks me the most is that how people here just accept the despicable state of their surroundings and just go on with their lives. I know of folks that own Audis and Mercs, but live next to a dumping yard. Now what is the point of having all that money, when you get see/smell only filth most of your life.
I had visited Delhi for the first time around twenty years ago, and it seems that despite of all the measures like CNG driven public transport and Metro, the situation has only gotten worse.
Unfortunately the political will here is too weak to effect a disruption to the current state.
The point is that one gets to compare it against the general population and thereby satisfy one's own ego. Generally, cars are a nice instrument for showing off wealth: they are highly visible.
Homes are another excellent example.
You highlight very well the absurdity of valuing such monetary wealth in a context where it makes little sense.
Boo hoo. Tokyo has no public trash cans and it is immaculate. The people there just care about the place they live in and don't burn shit to heat their houses.
In India, dung is used as fuel, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes ritualistically.
Politics in india pits ethnic group against ethnic group, caste against caste, in order to keep power and accomplish as little as possible. The economy is improving, but it appears to be stratifying, with radical divergence between the lifestyles of the richest and poorest. The wealthy are able to live in bubbles of luxury private development, blissfully unaware of the suffering just outside the gates. 
I'm bringing a lot of baggage, coming from a country where labor isn't cheap and the population isn't over a billion, but there is something to the value of human life here that I thought was universal. Maybe the expectations flip around when there are so many people that it would be cruel not to offer more garbage pickup jobs.
That smells a bit like a broken window fallacy though.
In the distance a herd of goats crossed the piles and paused to eat every so often, so I guess there's that.
Just need more people to push back against things like driving on the sidewalk, queue jumping, and blatant garbage dumping. Sometimes I do and the offenders generally listen or are shamed to stop for at least a bit.
Public infrastructure in India ultimately derives from the people. India has had 60+ years of independent, democratic rule. Blame for the lack of public infrastructure can't even be shifted entirely onto the colonial rule: India had some of the earliest hydroelectric power stations and pretty good rail infrastructure set up during that period.
Different cultures assign different values to various things. India collectively has not assigned a huge value to public hygiene. This is evidenced by things like the paan chewing and spitting mentioned in this discussion. This is socially acceptable in most parts of the country.
Slowly, things may change.
Am I the first person to have that idea?
But they didn't abolish trash cans (or better, they replaced them with a metal ring and the bag stays visible)
If the world and its manual processes were programs and code, these stories would be front page of the The Daily WTF.
Like, why not just do away with all those pesky municipal services people pay taxes for? It'd be so much easier.
Without the bins in London, there was close to zero "clutter" in underground stations. That makes it much easier to monitor for suspicious packages.