An awesome article about the Delhi Metro in the NYTimes. And yes, I was quite surprised (pleasantly, ofcourse), when I saw the above photograph. Wow. people standing in line to board the train.
It talks in depth about the challenges faced, and the key man behind the Delhi Metro – Shreedharan. And talks about how the Metro has monitors (most of them volunteers), who make sure, no one sits down on the floor of the metro cars, makes sure no one spits etc. It also talks about some new age management fundas – giving the employees a copy of the Bhagavath Gita, and explaining how it is one of the oldest management manuals.
Ok, now ends the good part, and I am going to start the ranting. The article goes on to rile the other cities of the country, and deride Gandhi’s vision etc – which it has no business to do. Ok, I am going to stop ranting, for the sake of keeping this article, family friendly. I am just going to quote the one paragraph which riddled me, and let you read through it, and allow you to seethe, and vent frustration by yourself.
India’s romance with the village, which Mahatma Gandhi believed was the most suitable environment for human development, is partly to blame for the decrepitude of Indian cities.
Uniformly, India’s cities are a mess. Bangalore, India’s high-tech hub, is strangled daily by traffic that has already eroded its image. Mumbai, the commercial capital, is riddled with overcrowded slums.
New Delhi, as the capital, is alone among India’s largest cities in having control over its own money and destiny. The Metro is the most visible example of that advantage.
How is that? I wonder why the foreign press has this fancy for New Delhi and no other city. Oh well, its good that they missed out some of the southern cities. We are better off, now being well known, I guess. We will just continue being the not-so-popular Detroit of India (Chennai), and IT Captial of the world (Bangalore).
Read the full article here.
Update: I was talking to an office-colleague, and he says, the last time he went to Delhi, he wanted to see the metro, and down he went to the Connaught Place station. The station and the trains was apparently extremely crowded, and there was no sign of any order in the place (quite contrary to the nice photograph above). He also said, that there were so many people boarding the trains, that a guard had to shove people inside the coach, and force close the doors, each time the train left the station. I am now beginning to think, the Times article is a paid article 🙂