My Life In A Pothole Of Worry; But Who Will Listen And Act?

Posted on February 25, 2012 in Society

By Amrita Nayak:

I go to office every day. I drive my car 35 kms to go to Navi Mumbai from Bandra, message my husband as soon as I reach office. He keeps worrying. I spend the whole day slogging away like one of those millions slugging it out in Mumbai, the business capital of a country boasting of 9% GDP growth.

I come back home after work navigating, the unbelievably troublesome traffic, insane driving by irritated drivers like me, dodging the potholes, saving the prized possession of a middle class person- my car- and escaping similar dodges of my middle class companions on the road. I message my husband who is still at work. I keep worrying. I am lucky today again that I reached home safe…what if one day my luck runs out? Hundreds protest, thousands of articles in newspapers, millions of affected people every day and billions of money from the public exchequer and still no result. What ails this system? Why can’t we have good roads for once and all and save all the hue and cry.

It’s a no-brainer to identify what might have gone wrong in road construction. It’s not rocket science, now that Mumbai is moving on with its mono rail project, it’s about time this issue is also resolved. Materials, manpower and technique are anybody’s guess as being the pillars of road construction.

In a country to 130 million, manpower is not an issue, technique is a well established one- though implementation does give rise to doubt at times- and that leaves materials as the shaky leg of this dilapidated structure. Construction companies when found at fault are blacklisted from tendering for the next time but they change their company name and bid again, win it and the macabre dance of death on the streets of the city of dreams continues.

Also the mindset of cheapest being the best and it having the impression that the bidder is devoid of any malicious profit-hungry intentions doesn’t really help matters. Companies bid ridiculously low prices to bag the deal which doesn’t give them the leverage to build properly. Cheapest is the not the way forward quality and service assurance is.

But alas who will listen and act? Another hundred words and two-cent-thought goes down the pothole.

Image courtesy: