Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Friday, May 1, 2015

Life of a METRO!!

Mana Metro! Hamara Metro! Namma Metro! Now, governments have got another reason to show how much they are "concerned" about the public. Building Metro everywhere. Something which remained in our imagination as an underground privilege in Kolkata some fifteen years ago has now come above. It is everywhere on the land. Every city or to put it right, every town wants a Metro for itself.

Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad. This is a fine list. The traffic woes and pollution horrors of these cities is a known fact and the introduction of a fast, traffic and pollution free way of conveyance is readily welcomed in such places. Especially because there has been an unprecedented, rapid growth in the last 20 years, the expansion of these cities has been haphazard. Also, the city limits have exceeded so much that they are eating into the neighbouring districts. Even though construction of Metro is such a pain when the city itself is not planned and built, once it is done somehow, it is a blessing.

But Kochi? Vijayawada? Visakhapatnam? Kozhikode? Kanpur? Ahmedabad? Seriously, is this some race going on between the metropolis? What is the urgent need for Metro everywhere? Just because Metro in Delhi is such a huge success does not mean it should be applied everywhere. Smart cities does not mean Metros bustling everywhere. Smart cities should be self sufficient. For that, they should be planned well. Planned so that surrounding villages are connected to them and they are well connected to major cities. But what use is it to plan a Metro before planning the city? Yeah, honey moon can be planned before planning the marriage ceremony but you don't eat dessert without first having the main course, do you?

Both the public and the public servants must be careful before planning out something. All these should not be done as issues of pride. They should be carefully planned. Because, anything involving trains is risky and generally such high end ones end up as 'white elephants.' So, while bidding for Metro or Olympics in your city, Mayor saab, think twice!