‘Developing’ to take leaps

Development hasn’t come easy to anyone. It takes several mistakes to finally get to where one wanted to. Some believe that you learn from your mistakes. But I believe that it’s even better to learn from other people’s mistakes, especially when you can’t afford to make one yourself. India is in its phase of what is known as “developing”. And to me that sounds like a great opportunity to realize that we don’t have to make the same mistakes as the “developed” world made several years ago.

Boston made a flyover only to realize later how it cut off different parts of the same city. So they decided to undo the mistake and pull the flyover down, only that this “Big Dig cost them a few billion dollars. We saw a similar scenario with the breaking off of eclectic Lajpat Nagar when the Defense Colony flyover came up a few years ago. But we chose to ignore that. Let alone, we chose to do the same mistake all over again, again and again. Why are we going on making similar flyovers all over the city? We clearly cannot afford a mistake, and especially when we don’t have to make one!

London is in the process of making all its 100 year (or older) public transportation accessible (which means accessible for the physically disabled) in time for the Olympic Games. And that would require disruptions in a running city apart from excessive costs of breaking and rebuilding several sections. Our upcoming transportation systems in the four metro cities could be made accessible right from the onset, then why are they not?

We can choose not to make the same mistakes in the hopes of  inventing a wheel one day. We have to realize that it has been invented already!  We have the luxury to learn from the mistakes that have been made somewhere else. And it is up to us now how we manage this opportunity we have. For once, I’m happy to be “developing”.


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