Tuesday, May 03, 2005

When political parties compete to develop...

For those staying in Bangalore, it may be difficult to believe that governments can ever get anything done, especially coalition governments since they are busy fighting each other.

Mumbai, Maharashtra was one such place some years back. Each successive government extended cut off dates for slums, regularised illegal water and electricity connections and generally did nothing. Somewhere along the way came a Shiv Sena government and sanctioned some 30 flyovers (grown since to 50) in 5 years. Almost all of them were built to schedule with the contracts providing for penalty on late completion and bonuses for early completion.

Having tasted success, the then government set about some more ambitious targets. The incoming government (after the Sena got knocked out) noted the project for its benefits (and vote catching) and took it further.

The last election promises for Mumbai were unlike previous election promises. Previously, it was 1 rupee jhunka bhakar, slum dwellers, free houses, free electricity. This time party manifesto spoke of development of the city, building more flyovers, metro rail, easing transport. Now, despite who rules Bombay, the city gets better facilities, unlike poor Bangalore.

If these things happen, Mumbai could well be Shanghai. What about Bangalore? Try Bihar.

Once political parties realise that the only way to woo voters is through better development projects and improving the quality of life, thats when things will move forward. This seems to have happened in Maharashtra, specifically in Mumbai. It has almost happened at our national level, though execution is poor. At other places (read Bangalore) there is still debate on the necessity of roads and power.


Anonymous said...

not taking sides of any political classs, but i believe the brain behind the flyovers - much before it got sanctioned during the Shiv Sena Govt - was Sharad Pawar, one person who i believe has done a lot for mumbai.

Does mumbai gets its dues - when its muncipality is the only profit making one in India for sure, I am not quite convinced.

Well in times of realtive comparsion Mumbai seems better.

NC said...

well, the lesser said the better. Am a known sena baiter, but i would give it to them when it comes to the flyovers. They have eased the traffic situation by a dramatic amount and the success is for all to see.

namma bengluru - not so lucky!!!