Civic projects in city need better vision

Yesterday, we ran a front-page story on a new escalator installed at Thane Railway station, which happened to be the first of its kind at a suburban railway station. It has now run into technical glitches even before a single passenger could step on it.

The authorities had failed to erect a shed or covering over the escalator, they claimed they had not foreseen such heavy rains so early in the season or in the beginning to use their exact words. Whatever that means. As it is, the escalator has missed three deadlines and was to be inaugurated in the first week of this month.

Why are we not surprised at the myopia shown by authorities when it comes to a public utility service? We have seen time and again that infrastructure becomes non-functional, defunct or deficient simply because adequate thought has not been given during its making.

The escalator really is a microcosm of all the problems experienced in various projects in the city and the consequent waste of taxpayer’s money. Take our roads, which seem to fall apart and develop potholes after incessant rain. Why are these roads not given to good, efficient contractors much before the rains itself? When there are bridges and flyovers made, we see that even before they have been inaugurated, niggling problems crop up due to inept construction.

While expanding transport services, adjunct facilities like parking, minimal walking space for pedestrians is not kept in mind.

While residential and office projects are coming up at a rapid pace, supporting systems like parking, water, access roads and facilities are not keeping pace.

The escalator installation lacked holistic vision, like several other city initiatives and is symbolic of not seeing the bigger picture. 

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