October 2, 2006


Delhi Metro me aapka swagat hai.Agla Station Chawri Bazaar hai. Kripya Darwaze se door rahen.Darwaze Baayi taraf khulenge.Kripya Savdhani Se Utren.Metro mei safar karne ke liye dhanyawaad....

All this sounds like music to my ears. Metro is one of the best facilities that a person living in a big city can avail. Someone who commutes by a city bus daily at 8:30 AM will definitely agree with me. The Speed, Majesty, Novelty or Ambience that is associated with Metro is really exalting. Not only those who travel by Metro are benefited directly, but also those who drive independently on a busy road as the traffic density comes down by a considerable 10-15% or even more in busy areas. While a DTC bus takes more than 1.5 hrs to reach Dwarka from Connaught Place(lovingly called as Rajiv Chowk by some neogenerationalists :) ), Metro does it in 40-45 mins flat minus the pollution, pushing-pulling, suffocating crowd, pick pocketing threat etc. plus comfort, agility and a sense of gratification that lingers for long. The clean, serene, secure environment of a Metro Station fosters a feel-good sense as well. And yes, you won't find anyone keeping a torn newspaper, towel or a piece of stinking cloth on a seat in order to 'reserve' it and later fighting with a co-passenger for the occupation :). All this comes at a dirt-cheap rate to us, thanks to the Government for bearing the huge installation expenditure.

The exemplary success of Metro in Delhi is to be re-enacted in various other Indian cities, some of them really crumbling under infrastructural problems posed by ever-growing traffic. Bangalore and Mumbai are the prioritized ones where the mammoth task of carving out ways underground has started since August of this year. The other blessed cities are Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Calcutta(second phase) and Kochi(Sky-rocketing developments here, really impressive!!). These massive projects, expected to complete by 2009-2010 will really be a boon for people residing in these cities. There is different school of thought though. Some Urban Planners think that Metro should not be on top of priority list. Basic issues like water and urban habitation which have not been resolved yet can be worsened during the setting up of Metro as it consumes a lot of water, electricity and land. Sad but true. Can we wait for all basic problems to be resolved entirely and then look for alternatives that raise the standard of life?? Not really, because it is never gonna be a level playing field for all. So, those who need the most should be given a bigger piece of this cake. Having lived in Ahmedabad and Bangalore, I guess I am qualified enough to comment on these two cities. Ahmedabad, being smaller and less crowded of the two, is still far from having the status of Metropolitan city. The roads are great and traffic is not smothering barring a few busy areas. My present abode Bangalore, on the other hand, is in dire need of Metro. One feels smothered, waiting in the middle of road for the signal to turn green and before crossing it turns red again leaving one stranded in miasma of SO2,CO,CO2 etc. With Metro, there won't be any such plight. There is still a long wait to 2009, nonetheless, I would be really pleased to see Metro running around.