I have got to be honest with you all; I ripped this catchphrase from a t-shirt where it was printed with a caricature that had a car bumping along a typical Indian road. It’s hilariously funny yet conveys the hard fact – our roads suck and travelling on them is the least comfortable – to say the least.
A visit to the metros during the monsoons throws open a sorry yet a true picture of the pathetic state of Indian infrastructure. Delhi, India’s capital and the host of the approaching 2010 Commonwealth games has most of its roads (barring the areas surrounding Parliament House) dotted with pot-holes filled with water making it perfect for joy-rides. In some cases the roads are so bad that local transport i.e. auto-rickshaws dare to venture in those areas. Gurgoan’s skyline looks impressive from far, but the conditions of the roads leading unto those high-rise buildings is best if not spoken about. In Bangalore, the country’s silicon valley, its now a known fact that power and road are two main issues threatening its numero uno status as the IT capital of India. Wipro’s Azim Premji had in the past openly criticized the Karnataka government for their inaction. The situation is so bad that out of helplessness some of the construction companies have taken onto themselves to construct and maintain roads leading up to their developments.
One wonders, if the situation is this bad in metros, what about smaller cities and towns, there seems to be an absolute loss of accountability when looking at the conditions of the road. The municipal corporations of various cities blame the monsoons and extreme traffic conditions for the conditions of the road; calmly ignoring their purported premise that if the roads don’t wear off, then who will keep the contractors in business year after year. Such is the corruption levels in these corporations that in places like Delhi, the road divider on certain stretch is reconstructed every year on some pretext even if they are in perfect condition.
We the public are also partly to be blamed for this situation, we so silently & selfishly ignore the poor state of infrastructure and so tolerantly accept whatever is thrown at us; we do whine a lot but when it comes to taking a bold step or a collective action, we step back. Its time we took some action, lets start by voting the right person (I’m sure there must be someone!!!) to the office. Jai Hind.