Hyderabad – No longer the best city in India

I went to Necklace road for dinner with friends on Saturday. The newly laid road looked so nice.  There were no potholes, the lanes were painted, and driving on the road was a pleasure.  I thought this must be some new technology, as this road looks really good.  This thought (new road laying technology) was on my mind, as I went walking in to the restaurant.

It was only much later on the walk back to the parking lot after dinner that it struck me.  It has been so long since the roads were good in Hyderabad that I had become unfamiliar with good roads.  So unfamiliar and not used to it – that I think of new technology for something as mundane as tarred roads! Probably will help you understand the degree of change in the public infrastructure in the past few years.

Four years back, I had gone to Bangalore seen the public infrastructure and could not help but feel proud – Hyderabad was different.  The roads in Hyderabad then were good, things got done (workers swept from mid night to early hours of the day and still do even today) Very unlike Bangalore. 

Back then, my friend worked in an MNC in Bangalore, the building was good. However, the road outside was not paved.  I incessantly teased him about it.  In order to get to Whitefield, you had to get over a bridge that had only 2 lanes (for both sides of traffic). They said there is a plan to expand the road.  However, the land belongs to the Indian Railways and it has been delayed for the past 5 years.  I remember telling a hundred people after my visit from Bangalore, how proud I was to be from Hyderabad. Things get done here, this is the best city to live in India.

However, things are different now. It is a pale shadow of its past.  Infrastructure has crumbled, legislations help special interests instead of everyone, corruption has increased, administration efficiency has decreased. There is more show and less substance. Smartness on big picture is replaced with Cleverness on small things. Greed dominates, professionalism and work ethic have taken several steps back.  The trajectory of the developments is not even flat – it is downwards!

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Road conditions deteriorate badly in Hyderabad