It’s been a while when the world has shifted a century. Industrialization, privatization, and Foreign Direct Investment have let the country of India observe an unprecedented scale of development. But that development at the cost of natural resources, are we becoming more normal with this kind of exploitation? Well, actually we are! I take the case of highways for now. From centuries these roads have been letting us reach places. Cities, towns, villages, you name it, the importance of roads is always uncalled for. With more people plying on these roads to reach destinations, it calls for expansions unless it’s an intention to create chaos.
What we see in a corrupted democracy is a continuous delay in plan executions. Improper planning is also a first-hand problem. No visible ‘work-in-progress’ indications to the commuters cause life-threatening inconveniences. Uneven compensations for the acquired lands calls for life long protests. Merciless cutting of trees causes a huge threat to the environment. Delay in reaching destinations may cause someone’s lives.
An expansion project of just 50-60 km may take years to complete. This means years of unnecessary suffering. This means our country has failed to deliver to the taxpayer’s money, to the votes in the favor of the government and to the promises that utterly discouraged a dream of a better future. And just for 60 km road that actually is serving lakhs of people connecting two important cities and yes, which incidentally is also a national highway?
I’m being personal here. In my three years of regular commute on this road, I share millions of memories. Talking to the trees en route to my college which occasionally would make the road look like a heavenly cave as they would usually entangle themselves with the trees on either sides mark my memories of a beautiful past. Now, a four-lane would make the summer travels merciless and winter travels bleak without a drop of fog leaving the leaves making my traveling body shiver with cold. Now, newly built milestones would tell me that there were some relentless trees who were once martyred without a title for us humans to ply faster to reach nowhere.