Thursday, September 9, 2010

The road less travelled ... the officials!

2 years back, I wrote this mail and these troubles still hold good for the rest of Hyderabad too. The standard excuse that we didn't expect so much rain is given almost every year (even when there is little rain). This year, we had heavy rains but I still feel this is no excuse for the ridiculous conditions our roads have been reduced to. The Hindu has regularly been carrying pictures of these battered roads, but I guarantee you, the condition will be the same next year too! Continuation of the mail below :)

1. Right in front of CM's house (now camp office) (yes... right in front of it)
2. Panjagutta to Nagarjuna Circle
3. Panjagutta to Ameerpet
4. Jubilee Hills to Kondapur

I travel mostly on these roads... the list will be much bigger I know! By the way, these are all the "main" roads of the city.

Maneuvering in the traffic is painful enough, now we even have to look out for other "obstacles" like pitfalls, potholes, water pools etc!

It is a tribute to our planners that one night (infact 1 hour) of rains are enough to throw the entire city life out of gear. It is to their credit that they can come up with such mediocre stuff and still happily get away with it. And it is to our disgrace that our tax money is so "well" spent.

But, please blame only the rain,
for that is cause of all this pain.
While we the people suffer again and again,
it's only the officials who always stand to gain!

GHMC... way to go! In between, when you find the time, show us the way to go too!


heathhutt said...

Last year i visited India, i found all the roads of your country are in not a good condition they all have problem you explained in your should have to protest against official to improve the conditions of road.

CodeNameV said...

I cant talk much for Hyderabad as the time I have stayed in Hyd has been sporadic and very less to get an estimate on the civil services.

I will however, make a point about Bangalore.
Some time ago, Vijay Vikram on CRI wrote this piece

He wrote about Karnataka being "State notorious for its world class public service delivery" to which I objected with this comment

I think the civil services in Karnataka are just short of being excellent. In fact, the response from BBMP in bangalore and RTC services I have seen in coastal karnataka and Bangalore are far ahead from what we have in rest of the country.

For instance: "BMTC is the first in the country to respond to growing daily commute requirements of general public with Volvo buses. Today Vajra service (as called in Bangalore) stands out as an excellent transportation model. The service found so much acceptance, BMTC actually ran out of buses to serve the requirement, beating all initial expectations and of course scoffing of ToI. To check this demand-supply gap, BMTC negotiated a deal to bring in Mercedes Buses to fill the gap."

Infrastructure turn-around in Bangalore is brilliant. Two years back, traffic used to move at inches per hour speed. Today, many traffic blockage points have been resolved while work is in progress on others. I can give exact specifics too but I dont want to make this comment too long. There are traffic jams in New York too. One cannot point out sporadic instances of blockages and generalize. Traffic situation in Bangalore improved a great deal in last 2 years.

BBMP's response to grievances is quick and satisfying. Yes, there would be some cases where it might not be up to the mark but thats "some" only. Most of the cases, sometimes even the lamest of the cases I have seen, have been taken care of in a very satisfying way.

Everybody says Bangalore is destroying its Green Cover. To all those ppl who would want to just go on and on about environmental protection and everything, you cannot have excellent infrastructure built in just a few months without some loss. These NGOs can counter this not by forcing the govt to stop but by planning to increase green cover themselves instead of relying on the govt. Wouldnt that be a very proactive thing to do?

All in all, I think there is a lot to learn from successes of local administration authorities like those in Bangalore, Ahmadabad where there is genuine success in handling situations and problems. May be Hyd will take leaf out of them and understand.

Anonymous said...

I am not been to Ahmedabad. Visited H'bad many years ago. So no idea about the two. But visiting B'lore regularly and I know its condition. It seems CodeNameV is an ardent supporter of ruling party at those places

CodeNameV said...

Ok, Mr.Anonymous, whoever, you are! It seems you are to be informed about Bangalore's progress in infrastructure development. Lets keep aside who is ruling for a minute. But just from how things are handled here, you would understand the diff.

You must be very well "unaware" of the fact that citizen interaction with public administration groups is a big hit in Bangalore. Talk about ABIDe. Abide's work has been a big boost to the infrastructure development. I live in Bangalore boss. I have been here for more than 3 years now. If you are just traveling here, however often, you might be unaware of anything other than transportation. Just guessing though.

Please go through these reports and check out for yourself. I didnt mention any political party. Hope you can keep political leadership outside of this and think in a rational way.

Dirt Digger said...

In any major growing city there is only certain level of improvements which can be done to the roads. However its appalling to see that the roads fail after an hour of rain which speaks volumes of the quality.
Sadly the Govt. will not hold the contractors accountable for quality and continue giving them contracts.

Sudhir said...

Apologies for late response :)

@heathhutt many a protest have been registered with the officials. They are just not concerned, because they know this is a passing phase. Put back the roads after rains, and people are happy.

@CodeNameV thanks for that detailed comment. It explains clearly what a strong local administration can achieve. Hyderabad has been plagued by civic indifference ever since a particular party came to power. The antipathy of officials towards such infrastructural issues is at times appalling. They take ages to fix a traffic problems, days to fix roads etc.Really hope that one day we get an admin as good as B'lore

@Anonymous - It would be really great if you could elucidate more on what you saw in Bangalore, rather than cast aspersions on fellow commentators.

@DD - you are right about the limit of improvements and also can feel your outrage too. Basic stuff in Hyd is so screwed up, that one's BP level rises at a phenomenal speed. Worst part is that the road right outside YSR's house gets majorly clogged if it rains for say, 30 minutes! It rains, contractors make money by winning contracts again! And we pay for it :(

- Sudhir

Memoirs said...

I agree with CodeNameV, I've just returned from Bangalore and really impressed with the development. My last visit 2 bangalore was 2 yrs ago and I can see a marked difference.

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