Friday, February 27, 2009

Which comes first?

Once upon a time, in a city called Hyderabad, there existed an airport in the suburb of Begumpet. Soon the city grew north of Begumpet and so Begumpet became more centric.

An auto ride from the farthest point of the city to the airport would probably take Rs.100/-. All good so far.

Then came a vision to modernize and expand the airport. Obviously it was felt the space wasn't enough. So was born the idea of constructing a "modern airport" 35 kms from the city. So far so good.

The first result? No transport to the airport. Taxis charged as much as 1500/- for a ride, making the 30 odd kms ride comparable in cost to the air fare!!!

Work on the expressway began and is expected to complete soon (some bloggers say July 2009). By then taxi rates have stabilized to anywhere between Rs. 500/- and 800/-.

A shuttle service is introduced. It charges between Rs 120/- and 150/-. A passenger who gets off at a scheduled stop will still pay 50/- for an auto resulting in a net fare of 170/- to 200/- for a one way travel. The question of pollution compliance of these vehicles (one must travel behind them!!!) is thrown to the winds.

A special road is created connecting Gachibowli to the airport thereby allowing smooth flow of traffic to and from the airport. So far so good.

Once all the roads are completed (they should have been ahead of opening the airport), the net result is at least 10s of thousands of cars plying to and from the airport. Assuming each car gives around 12 kms a litre it is atleast 6 litres of petrol per car, i.e. 60000 litres of petrol spent per day towards airport transit.

What is the value of this development? Shouldn't "development" enable cheaper, comfortable and rapid commute?

What is better? A 15 kms expressway or a couple of rail lines? Imagine billing a person Rs10/- for a train ticket and Rs.10/- for every piece of luggage.

And finally which comes first? An airport or infrastructure to the airport?
Amazing, how much vision our political leadership have!!!!

1 comment:

KC's Kingdom! said...

Good one. I am not so looking forward to my visit to Hyd next week thanks to this sole factor. But what the heck, it's home after all.