Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My car's dream home !!!!

The following article in Monday’s DNA serves to reinforce a belief that I have been holding for quite some time now. Namely, that in the years to come, traffic management is going to be single biggest issue facing mega-cities like Mumbai. Nariman Point can now proudly claim to have the most expensive office and parking space in the world. Spending a few lakhs a year on parking space is obscene enough. To add to that, every time you actually take the car away from its expensive resting abode, you have to contend with ever-increasing traffic as well. That is why I firmly believe that addressing this issue should be the topmost priority for the governments, municipalities and urban planners. We are, of course, at making plans and announcing them with much fanfare. Almost every alternate day, Mumbai wakes up to read of the next grand plan which claims will cure the city of its traffic asphyxiation. Be it several dozen new flyovers, or the recent announcement of 20 skywalks to avoid pedestrian congestion outside the suburban stations (which, if done well, is actually quite a decent idea); the plans always look very seductive. But when it comes to execution and management, it is completely a different story. The much-hyped Bandra-Worli sea-link still has to see the light of day. Earlier it was end 2007, then 2008 and now 2009 is finally supposed to be the year when this is supposed to be opened. We will continue to see more of it in the movies than in real-life. Such delays are common with most big projects. The work on the Metro Rail was supposed to have started already, now it will not be sooner than January next year. More than conceptualizing and announcing new plans, what is required is an iron hand supervising the execution of such grand projects, freeing them of government red-tape and legal hassles. The authorities owe this much to the people of Mumbai.

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