Reforming the life- line of Mumbai, A priority.

Reforming the life- line of Mumbai, A priority.

mumbai reconstrcution


-Niraj Dubey

Instructions on a flight always say that you should put your own oxygen mask before assisting others. I believe it’s time that the Government is instructed the same because we don’t have a good basic infrastructure for our citizens and the Government is planning to provide with advanced infrastructure which is not a need but a desire. It’s like promoting the 7th-grade kid to 10th grade seeing his capability but the promotion to such an extent is risky.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe were present at the inaugural ceremony of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project, at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The project is estimated to cost Rs 1.1 lakh crore and will cover a distance of over 500 km from Mumbai to Ahmedabad in about two hours. The train is expected to be completed in 2022 to commemorate the 75th year of our independence.

From the economic, or more precisely financial viewpoint, the Japanese loan for 80% of the project cost, which is almost interest-free (0.1% only) with a moratorium of 15 years before repayment commences over 35 years, cannot be bettered. The announcement of Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train has received mixed reactions from the people of Mumbai, but they were unanimous in their demand for reforms in Mumbai’s local trains over the introduction of a bullet train. I think the demand for reforms is justified. The Elphinstone Road stampede is the proof why Mumbaikars are demanding improvements in the basic infrastructure which has remained unchanged since the Nehru-era apart from rendezvous with digitalization and a few minor platform modifications. The base of the construction is of the archaic era and needs a revamp urgently.

While local trains serving as the primary mode of transport and being in a dilapidated condition, introducing bullet trains is not a wise move and would increase debts. Also, the fares of the bullet trains are similar to flight ticket which is not pocket-friendly for the common man. It is understood that being a developing nation it is imperative to advance our infrastructure and grab such opportunities. However, I feel Maslow’s theory needs to be followed here and we should fulfil our basic need and then move towards luxury.

The biggest benefit of the bullet train project is that it would shrink distances in this vast country. It will lead to a free and frequent movement of people, expand jobs and socializing opportunities as well as politicking if the young are so inclined. The country will be welded together far more strongly in a couple of decades if a dozen more such bullet trains travel between metropolises such as Delhi, Jaipur, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Lucknow and the like, and in similar clusters in the south, east, and west, and then across the country.

However, I think we should give priority to our requirements in order to make a wise decision. The bullet trains will definitely help our, however, is this the right time for its introduction is the question that the policy-makers must ask themselves before spending the taxpayer’s money. A lot of money is already being invested in constructing statues which is absolutely not a requirement. These stunts are only to have held on the voters of a particular community. To satiate the need of reforming the life-line of the city is the need of the hour and will also serve as the biggest vote bank.

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