Oh (na)NO!

DQW Bureau
New Update


Last month not just India but the world was swooning over Tata's Nano, and

how it will change the fortunes for the automobile industry-and the common man,

whose corporation everybody wants to take care of these days. Global media

seemed to have gone into the celebration mode. And engineers are giving all the

credit to infotech.

Unfortunately, I am worried. IT is helping automobile makers to come up with

some of the best-designed cars that can be sold in India and other emerging

economies. But IT is not helping us at all in terms of creating a civil

infrastructure that will ensure that these cars can run on the roads.

Coming from perhaps India's only millenium city, Gurgaon, I am still

recovering from a near disaster, called a 16-lane toll plaza on the Gurgaon-Delhi

border. I need not elaborate on the two-mile-long queues and 45 minute waiting

time commuters had to undergo when this much touted modern solution for faster

transportation was launched. When I spoke to a few people, they just blamed

everything on incorrect projection.


The planners had estimated that there would be a movement of 120,000 vehicles

on this road by 2010. We have exceeded that number today. I don't know which

software was used, and what data was fed to get such horribly wrong projections

in this era of information technology.

Ibrahim Ahmad

Some temporary solution has been worked out, but the way automobile numbers

are going up in the country, I am not too sure how this 16-lane plaza will cope

with millions of people traveling to and from Gurgaon.


Similar is the story of thousands of professionals who live in Gurgaon.

Electricity supply has collapsed, roads and drainage are in the pits. Most roads

have been converted into parking lots. Just imagine when there are thousand of

little cars, which also want their place on the roads, in the parking lots, on

the toll plaza.

I also read a recent report about four big hubs being planned for Gurgaon,

which will house four lakh IT professionals. They are not worried about how they

will make it to Gurgaon, and how people in Guragon will move around.

Therefore, I am not too sure if this common man's little Nano, or for that

matter the increasiong number of automobiles, will serve the common man or turn

into a monster ready to gobble up lots of other things including health and

peace of mind.