Moments of Truth

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TeeBee for many, Manthru for some, Sunny for a few, Myna for selected, Suresh for record. Hailing from Thrissur of Kerala and now lives (read survives) in Monroe Twp, NJ with wife and daughter.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

God's Own Country, Our Own Problems!

This discussion thread on the proposed Smart city in Cochin inspired some thoughts.

Having lived in Dubai from 1999 to 2005 and witnessed the kind of growth that a small city like Dubai is achieving, it is not easy to avoid mentioning a force known as Dubai Holding for its vision and investment skills. It is amazing to see the development and speed that is going on and how it has transformed the tiny nation
to focus into investments in areas other than oil. Its about creating opportunities. And Smart city is about the same.

What are the kind of jobs that Smart city would create? To build the infrastructure, that includes facilities such as buildings, roads, communication, water and electricity to name a few, the project would give jobs for tens of thousands of people for a minimum number of years and a permanent job for the maintenance workers. Then there are requirements for software engineers, administrative staff, office assistants etc. More and more residential buildings and hotels would come up as time passes which would bring in more and more jobs. People will have more reasons to travel to this place which would have an impact in businesses elsewhere. That is hell lot of jobs, direct and indirect. Silly to say that it would not create jobs for the common man!

Real estate is booming in Cochin and even in Alwaye and has brought fortune to many. There was rumour that Muslim league has bought land in and around the area where Smart city is going to come up. There was no guarantee that it would be a reality and if it was, the word was out and everybody knew about the development. So it is not easy to eat the rumour that only Muslim league could buy the land. What happened to the land they amassed around the proposed Express highway? Who killed the project and why?

When a company makes a multi-billion investment, we do not expect them to make profits in thousands. And it is natural for them to ask for security of their money in some strict terms. By the way, even when Smart city itself is not in a position to launch, who will bet on a green signal for another project in the coming years. If we don't have the money to invest, let somebody do it and who in the world better than Dubai Holding? Whom else we are expecting to do it for us for 10 rupee profit?

It is funny to hear that since Dubai wants to kill the competition, they might even kill the Smart city for Dubai to prosper. Dubai has its own limitations in land, weather, greenery, human resources etc. Would somebody invest billions and keep it stale for another one of its business to prosper? Hard to believe! Another thought is that it will take away some of the jobs from overseas back to India. Serious or not, interesting is the way people think!

Other than the cries of foul and corruption, our political parties have failed to bring in an understanding on the terms and conditions as well as opportunities of the project. We might want to see action rather than a stalemate. Each time a project comes up, that's what we can see. A stalemate where people of Kerala will never win. Still we think that politicians, left or right, are there for our prosperity. Wake up dears.

Who benefits if Smart city does not come up? There will be more unemployed people to work for the politicians or take quotation jobs to kill others or carry out thefts to a do a better living. So 'Janakeeyasoothranam' is the only way out? Didn't I hear that there too was corruption? Intentions of the company or our politicians are clear. To make money or profit out of this issue or business. The development that would bring in is real. Let's forget the first and go for the latter. I don't think that our politicians live out of the salary from the government alone.

Smart city may not become a reality even though Judiciary had a say on it. For the last 10 years at least, we have compared
ourself as a potential threat to Bangalore, Hyderabad and Noida, kept boasting about the latency and bandwidth and the topological importance of Cochin, but nothing happened. 10 years from now, we would be doing the same thing and would be going to polls to vote the same politicians who will win this year's election. Because we think a little too much! Eh?


Blogger Mind Curry said...

excellent thoughts and great times i really get disappointed and worried when i think of keralites - you see the majority in kerala opposing smart city citing reasons so absurd..and supporting clowns like achu who have no sense of progression.

thank you for the support offered..if you may, you can send me your email so that we can add you on the list of supporters.

9:22 AM  

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