in deep existential crisis..

A Journal by Sara

BJP – Road to Victory?

Nearly a decade back, BJP who was in power at the centre, sensed the need of world class roads for the rapidly developing Indian economy. They drew up the National Highways Development Project with several phases of which the cost of first phase was set to Rs. 54,000 crore, world’s biggest infrastructure project then.

It aimed at linking the North, South, East and west; as well as the four metros with eight-lane world-class expressways that were expected to put India on the fast lane to growth. These were to be supplemented with same quality links and bypasses that were to be created by upgrading existing highways.

With the making of world class infrastructure in place, still NDA could not convince the voters of India, as the twists and turns of politics brought the Congress-led UPA to power and saw Manmohan Singh take oath as PM. And one of the first things that National Highways Authority of India, the government’s custodian of arterial roadways, did after the regime change was to order all skyboards redone to remove Vajpayee’s picture at a cost of about Rs 1.8 crore.

Till 2004 — and a little later — people started realizing that motoring from Delhi to Chandigarh or Jaipur; or Mumbai to Pune was a breeze. Any drive along the highways linking the four metros of Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai was bustling with construction workers.

Now, after years later, the scene on the ground is different. The activities are more sluggish — you barely see progress at sites where a bridge is being built or the road is being widened even if you cross it at a year’s gap. Nearly all flyovers and stretches of highways and roads that have been “inaugurated” or come into operation were started during the NDA regime.

Times Of India has come out with its interesting analysis on its Chennai edition dated 4th April. If you have a look at the graph below, you could see it for yourself that number of kilometers of road laid by legendary congress in its 50+ years of rule is 36,013 Kms where as the BJP has laid 31,271 Kms in just 5 years. Figures don’t lie.

Graph. Courtesy: Times Of India

If this is not a startling observation, what else would be? In terms of construction of roads, if BJP in its only term has roughly done 95% of what congress is trying to do in a whole stretch of 50 years, I could see with whom the fault lies and who has firmly put India on the road to victory in infrastructural development.

Somewhere I read recently which asked, if Pro is opposite of Con, then progress is opposite of what? Yes, I have the answer, and you?


April 5, 2009 - Posted by | India, Indian General Elections 2009, Infra Structure, Issues, Policy/Strategies, Politics

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