Wednesday, 7 October 2009

City of dreams

I almost did cartwheels when I read the papers this morning.

'Almost' because I have never done a cartwheel in my life.

But I almost did when I read about the proposed elevated air conditioned corridor from Virar to Churchgate at Mumbai's Western line. I had visions of the wonderful train networks at Bangkok and Dubai. And emptier roads.

'Almost' also because I then read that the project would start in three years. And finish in ten!

The Dubai metro got over in two years. But the Calcutta one took three decades. So why complain?

Reminded me of a discussion which I had with some foreigners about India. We are quite a quirky country. On the one hand we have certain private sector enterprises like five star hotels or airlines where we match up to the best in the world. Or achievements in the ethereal world such as mobile networks and the quantum leaps there. But when it comes to brick and mortar stuff .... infrastructure, roads, public toilets, airports, traffic management, its phoos.

Though I must say that I am impatient but not a cynic. There is a lot of talk these days. And some plans too. A bit like the 'big bang'.

I hope something will come out of it.

Question is when and what?

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