Saturday, November 30, 2013

Indira Gandhi International Airport - New Delhi

Finally, I got to experience the new Terminal-3 building and New Delhi due to a business trip. I was expecting a memorable experience as it does with India all the times. So for the better part, India is changing and now one can see the heavy investments (that's coming at a huge cost to the user ofcourse) in infra.

Here are some images I've taken at airport and once you get out of airport you can take a taxi right out at the terminal building. I got warned that during peak hours, the queue can be quite long and it may take an hour or so to get one. So being paranoid, I've booked a taxi/online reservation with merucabs. It's painful as it needs a Indian Mobile number but finally with few phone calls managed to get one. I was told there are some other operators like quickcabs, megacabs & easycabs but the recommendation was Meru. But trust me this is where things started to go give 'experiences'.

When I entered the taxi, it's like entering a vehicle which was just excavated from some desert. I could see 'sand' at the vehicle floor, then the seats are really dirty with lots and lots of dirt. I can understand why. These taxi operators/drivers tend to run without AirCon and within few weeks or months, the dust just adds up to the vehicle weight. I doubt they wash it periodically too.

Anyway, the hotel is not very far and the free way seems to be good. But wait.. there comes the "manual toll booth".. Where we ended up waiting for 15-20 min. And I can see vehicles making some huge u-turns as the contractors build the highway without any 'elevated exit'.

Hotel was nice and clean. No complaints but compliments only. On the otherhand the price we paid could have given us a Suit room in Thailand or other asian places. so "NO VALUE for Money".

The horrible part was the "traffic" and "pollution". Be it the dust or vehicular or noise or whatever.. One can name it and you can feel it. A five minute walk on the outside would definitely make you cough once, unless you are used to it.

I saw huge buildings and offices like Bharti Airtel, Ericsson, Nokia etc. But the worst part is these people can build buildings and invest billions but can't work with government to "create proper walkways, or approach roads".. So much for taking care of their own employees. Most of these places have no parking for visitors which adds up to the horror.

And on the road it seems the saying still goes true. "THERE ARE NO RULES ON INDIAN ROADS". So you can see a car slowly driving in the opposite direction of the highway, or taking sudden stops or turns etc. Also people trying to sell you cheap stuff like some beads or sun shades etc are maneuvering their way in the slow moving traffic.

Food is not bad and Delhi/surrounding areas offer wonderful food. Also, I am not surprised to see "chinese" food almost every where. Infact I saw more Non-Indian food than Indian food in entire Gurgaon.

Most of the people, I've interacted are well polished and professional. This is one change probably due to the high-end firms in Gurgaon, as I've a terrible scene at airport. A kid started to vomit at the airport while hundreds of folks watching. The parents (must be going on a vacation) are just watching and the horror doesn't stop there. They washed the kid with a bottle of water at the same spot.. :|

So it's a mix of good and bad experiences. Probably my next visit, I'd plan to visit some historic places around Delhi and post it..(Also hope to see some improvements in people, pollution & policies)

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