Our country India is developing very well. In Lucknow, the trail of Metro from Transport Nagar to Charbagh station has been successful and, hopefully by Holi it will become operational, benefitting the citizens immensely and easing traffic woes. Samajwadi Party’s national president Akhilesh Yadav attacked the BJP led NDA government and held it responsible for the delayed metro project. Akhilesh criticized the Modi government for its failure to release no-objection certificate (NOC) for the project. He inaugurated the Lucknow Metro prior to the assembly elections in the state. However no central leader was invited by him even though funds were disbursed for the project from the centre.
ISRO has done very well by launching various satellites very economically, proving their scientific and technological capabilities. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had successfully launched the PSLV-37 rocket which put in to orbit a record 104 satellites from seven countries. Using the time-tested and popular Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), ISRO surpassed its personal best of sending up 20 satellites in one go. It will provide remote sensing services after coming into operation. Images sent by it will be useful for coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, distribution of water and creation of land use maps, among others.
Indian Railways are also working well but there are some problems regarding derailments due to external criminal interference. Around 18 incidents of sabotage have been witnessed by the railways in the last 40 days of 2017. Safety experts are worried about the recurring incidents of train sabotage which may prove fatal to the lives of commuters. In the first 40 days of 2017, the Indian Railways has witnessed disruption attempts by placing boulders, concrete slab, stone slab or rail pieces on tracks across the country, from Lucknow division, Mumbai, Waltair, Allahabad and Malda.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu expressed concern about the surge in sabotage attempts and alleged that they were meant to carry out explosions. He said there were seven “blast attempts” and three cases of attempted sabotage, among others. Prabhu had also written to home minister Rajnath Singh seeking a detailed investigation by the National Investigation Agency into the recent railway mishaps. He also listed six incidents of “possibility of criminal interference by outsiders”. We must tighten our criminal justice system to ensure stringent punishment to miscreants. It is not possible to patrol such a huge network. If miscreants sabotage railway lines then they will be sentenced for life imprisonment very swiftly and surely.
India’s Maritime shipping is also developing but not at the pace that is required. We do not have a decent passenger ship under Indian flag and our dry docking and ship repair facilities are very poor. Maritime education is of very poor quality at about half of the DG Shipping approved colleges. Improvement is needed in this matter. The government must take steps to improve infrastructure. Good highways and road connectivity to ports is essential but enough work is not being done here. For years, road from JNPT has been in poor condition and not much improvement is happening even now. Infrastructural companies connected with cargo movement and handling have been doing good work as also local manufacturing of items for shipboard use. However connectivity by roads to port gate must be taken up on war footing basis.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)