Global Themes

On Globalization & Venture Capital

Mumbai Traffic and “Mera Bharat Mahaan”*

Earlier this week, my optimism about the infrastructure situation in India (see e.g. this) took a severe beating as I struggled to get to a meeting in downtown Mumbai crawling through what seemed like an endless chaos of traffic and road construction.

mumbai-traffic.jpg  ** Don’t get me wrong – I’m usually very charitable about these things…(and of course India is a weak spot!) but what really got me was not the 1hr 40min drive – I was far luckier than almost everyone else on that journey, travelling in comfort and not having to make this trip everyday – but the appalling loss of productivity and the drain on energy caused by this.

As I sat watching the stop-start-stop pattern around me, I could not but help thinking how these infrastructural bottlenecks were making the whole system terribly inefficient…roads and traffic are not the only problem, Mumbai is also facing a severe power shortage as I write this.

I was also in Bangalore and New Delhi a few days back – and although both these cities have their share of infrastructure woes, I am afraid Mumbai’s traffic problem has snowballed over the last few years.

When I mentioned about this to some friends, the response I got was: “Its not so bad because everyone factors it in while planning their day; we know its bad” 🙁

Some more thought suggested that at least one reason why people may not get as agitated as I did could be because they use the time to make phone calls and generally catch up (if they are travelling with someone). In fact, for politicians and businessmen, giving interviews-on-the-go is becoming more & more common as commute takes up an increasingly bigger chunk of a productive day.

And yet I remain hopeful….as the old slogan goes, Mera Bharat Mahaan!

.

* loose translation: “My India is Great”!

** Image Courtesy: http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~kildea/india05/india05-tab.htm

April 13th, 2007 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 3 comments

3 Comments »

  1. […] Globalization and Venture Capital: Earlier this week, my optimism about the infrastructure situation in India took a severe beating as I struggled to get to a meeting in downtown Mumbai crawling through what seemed like an endless chaos of traffic and road construction….what really got me was not the 1hr 40min drive – I was far luckier than almost everyone else on that journey, travelling in comfort and not having to make this trip everyday – but the appalling loss of productivity and the drain on energy caused by this. […]

    Pingback by Traffic In India - A Functioning Anarchy » Odd Culture | June 26, 2008

  2. Great blog, subscribed to your rss feed. Thanks.

    Comment by Psychic Advice | July 13, 2008

  3. boo.india is awsome

    Comment by Amber | August 28, 2008

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