Saga of an ill-planned road
   Date :04-Apr-2019
Vijay Phanshikar,
What happens when urban infrastructure comes up in an ill-planned manner, is evident from the story of what is now being described as new Jail Road that is expected to connect the Humpyard Road with Wardha Road -- that is from the Ajni Railway Station to the Rahate Colony intersection where a Metro Rail Station is coming up. Not just the people but also the authorities now admit that the whole road project has been planned and executed thoughtlessly.
The inconvenience of the people and the embarrassment of the authorities are visible at any point in time during the entire day when we watch the traffic chaos at the Wardha Road connecting point. What it means to be bad planning and terrible execution can be seen there in no time. Here are a few points everybody is aware of:
1. The road was actually not needed, to say the least;
2. The authorities planned the road just because they wanted to please someone;
3. The moment the road opened for use, everybody realised the planned chaos at the Wardha Road connecting point;
4. The authorities installed traffic signals almost mindlessly;
5. Then came the realisation of the high degree of the complex difficulty the intersection faced;
6. And now, the authorities are running helter skelter like a headless chicken. The people who dreamed of the road and the people who executed that royal wish never actually realised what trouble they were going to land into. That was the outcome of an absence of a well-tuned vision about the city’s development. Of course, someday, the authorities will find out certainly something that would be actually an apology of a solution. After some time, the people, too, would get used to that so-called solution, and life will go on. But that would never, never mean that the way out is an actual and useful solution.
The fact will remain that the people will learn to make do with it. Let us now leave this point aside for a while and take a look around the city where many such Quixotic ideas are being implemented almost thoughtlessly. In a few places, the common people are opposing those ideas. In other places, the common people are almost clueless about what they could do. In a few places, the authorities have already pulled down existing structures but have left the projects half-way through -- much before the Election Code of Conduct was even in sight. The whole scene is rather chaotic.
It appears that a few individuals in authority are tossing up ideas whose implementability is unclear. Some vague ideas, some undefined dreams, some sense of power -- all these appear to be working in many of such projects. If all these continue, the city of Nagpur, our wonderful city, will lose its charm just because of ill-planned developmental projects, based more on commercial considerations than on sound ideas. One does not know whether such a word of caution would ever be taken in the seriousness of contemplation it deserves.