How infrastructure development has never made lives better

India is on the path of massive development, improving our infrastructure, education, finance, etc. Our country is constantly evolving in order to make lives better for its citizens and live a healthy lifestyle. As Charles Darwin suggests, evolution is evident and it is necessary for growth. But does evolution means development? And does development really brings growth?

This question largely depends on what is your terminology of growth. It may be in terms of money or comfort, in terms of quantity or quality, and might also be in terms of numbers or results. Many of us often misunderstand to interpret these terms and thus end at assuming that we are on positive development. Development is always counted in numbers and therefore fails to verify the real benefits. 

A very small local example to this understanding: I shifted to my present home 17 years back and during those days, my building was the only one in the area. Rest was occupied by trees and barren land. The travel distance from my home to the railway station was 1km but the roads were not great nor the frequency of auto-rickshaws. So it would take approximately 15 mins to board a rickshaw. Now after 17 years, the complete scenario has changed. The entire area has developed into a huge township with wider roads, street lights, and other amenities. There are thousands of rickshaws on the road, but still, I need 15 mins to board a rickshaw as there is a long queue due to a greater influx of people. So here, what was development???
There are two factors to consider in this example

1. The infrastructure
2. Benefit to human in real time (not on paper)

Surely, the infrastructure has developed to a greater extent to make lives of people comfortable. Transport options, roads, electricity, internet, house, etc all these have developed. These are the developments in terms of numbers.
The benefit to human due to these developments is actually zero. I am still taking 15 mins to get an auto-rickshaw, then how did it comfort me? Or made my life better?

If we start assessing just the local developments happened or happening in our region, we can pin down its effect to its users. The theft which used to happen breaking into our homes, is now happening just sitting at a desktop. The digital banking is as vulnerable as an open locker full of cash. Moreover, you never come to know the thief. The roads are 9m wide but the effective usable road is just 3m; because vehicles are parked on two lanes. The newer buildings are raising their paved sites a little more than others to avoid waterlogging, but eventually, the competition will do not solve the problem as these buildings which are high today, will become low tomorrow. The answer here is to not raise the platforms but to design an effective drainage system. An effective drain is the positive development here and not the raising platforms. Afterall we are looking for results not for competing and going high.

Therefore we need to assess the development in terms of benefits to the end user. Otherwise all the years we will live in an intuition that we all have developed and till we realize this, the damage would be done.
The development shouldn’t be in terms of its greatness or size but in terms of higher benefits. We as citizens should urge for such developments so that we live a better life in real time.

What example do you have which denotes development has changed nothing but only worsened the condition. The recent macro development which is in news is the bullet train. Is it worth its price?

2 Responses

  1. APURVA PATIL says:

    The Coastal Road development is an hot topic as it involves creating an 8 lane road for cars that are owned by a small portion of the city’s population, investing a whooping amount of 12,900 crores! Guess where this money comes from? The taxes that everyone pays.

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