Why can't we sort out alternatives first?

Updated: Sep 23, 2019, 07:04 IST | The Editorial |

If an alternative is unavailable, then hold the repairs for a while unless of course it needs to be worked on immediately

Widening the road outside Bandra station is part of a greater beautification plan that will kick off in October. Pic/Shadab Khan
Widening the road outside Bandra station is part of a greater beautification plan that will kick off in October. Pic/Shadab Khan

The shutting of a main staircase at Bandra station means it is busi-mess as usual for thousands of commuters using this important halt on their daily commute.

A report in this paper cited how the closure of an east-side exit at Bandra railway station, which connects people to the family court, collector's office, MHADA, ONGC and the BKC business district, caused hardship for thousands of commuters. While authorities have opened a new staircase, they had not cleared the road it leads to, with the Railways and the BMC passing the buck. The impact of this front page report, had led to the road being cleared and potholes being filled.

While it is understandable that old infra needs a revamp and repairs, we must see that substitutes are practical and amenable for use. When repairs or closure of an infra arm for upgradation leaves people with a worse option it is tantamount to no option at all. The 'repairs' then become like a cosmetic word, you are repairing one part of infrastructure but putting people to great inconvenience or even danger by telling them to use another avenue which may not be ready for use.

Unless in an absolute emergency, any facelift or repair must start with a gameplan. Keep the commuter or user at the heart of this plan. Draw up an alternative, which should work well while the upgradation is on. If an alternative is unavailable, then hold the repairs for a while unless of course it needs to be worked on immediately.

One cannot be myopic, while strengthening or revamping a facility. You need foresight and advance planning, especially in this city where space is such a challenge and alternative routes or places are very difficult to find. Make the 'other' viable and practical not a bother, like this example has shown.

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