Infrastructure Development: Let METRO be Just the Beginning
Finally, Kochi has become a ‘Metro-city’. A happy moment not only for Kochites alone, but also for every Keralite. Time to forget the controversies, never-ending political claim-games … It’s time to move forward. This is the dawn of a new era of better urban transportation in the category of mass rapid transit system. The dawn of a new age in the State’s development history. I am sure that Metro will trigger a wide variety of development projects in the commercial capital.
Metro comes in the mass rapid transport category and is important for any developing city. The project should have been initiated much earlier, but better late than never. Bottom heart applauds for the visionary leaders and the iron will and expertise shown by Metro-man E Sreedharan, KMRL MD Elias George and others behind the task. The people of Kerala are well aware of the hurdles that constantly haunted the project from its inception. Well done!
Now that the regular services are on, the success of the venture depends on a wide variety of factors ranging from extending and connecting it to city’s traffic hubs, efficient feeder network, introduction of pedestrian friendly measures, integration of the modes of public transport including the proposed water metro and proper maintenance to keep its present charm unfading. Concerted efforts of all departments and agencies concerned and unfailing support from the general public will determine the success of the metro in the long run.
The metro alone can’t become a real game-changer as far as the city traffic is concerned. While it is a proud moment that metro has been launched, we still have to admit that the city lacks proper roads, foot paths, flyovers, parking spaces and lot more other common amenities. Water logging and waste management are nightmares to the people. Illegal parking and unauthorized encroachments are a growing concern. And as far as Kerala is concerned, we have a long way to go in the area of infrastructure development before we can call ourselves a developed state. Plan for an express highway was mooted years back, but due to lack of vision on the part of our political leaders and non-cooperation from people it has not been accomplished. I don’t need to explain that our roads are not good enough and wide enough to accommodate the ever growing number of vehicles. Those who travel by road will know how many daunting hours it takes to reach from Kasargod to Trivandrum. On every fifteen minute interval you are sure to get into a traffic block.
Recently I had been to Europe. Travelling the length and breadth of a number of countries there, it was amazing to note how the visionaries of those countries planned the infrastructure like roads, bridges, etc., so many decades ago, at a time there weren’t many vehicles plying. I remember travelling a stretch of 300 kms in nearly 4 hours by road. When will such development come in our state?
Investors and industries will come to our state only if adequate infrastructure is in place. The primary hurdle towards this is the failure to provide timely, efficient, effective and economically viable infrastructure to its people. Let’s hope that leaders with vision and commitment to people’s welfare will pave way for the all-round development for our state.