city may have its shortcomings when compared
to other emerging global capitals, but it is
perhaps the only one with a soul, says Dr. Hiru
has been through the centuries - and no doubt
continues to be - the gateway to India, as the
magnificent edifice adjacent to the Taj Mahal
Hotel will bear ample testimony. The moot question,
however, is whether Bombay will stand on its
own as an important global capital on the lines
of some of the emerging capitals of Asia such
as Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore, Djakarta, Hong
Kong and Kuala Lumpur.
determine whether it is, or can become one,
one would have to look at the various factors
that into the making of a truly global capital.
One has to therefore look at such factors as
infrastructure, financial services, security,
environment friendliness, basic amenities like
schools, hospitals, sports facilities, pubic
transport and more advanced facilities such
as hotels, clubs, entertainment, theatre, arts,
advanced education, quality of airport, and
the like. Last but not least, one would also
look at the soul of the place and its people.
so far as infrastructure is concerned, one could
look at its various components. The suburban
train services are fairly efficient. The ever
burgeoning population, however puts an immense
strain the system, and, as a result, the commuting
public doesn't travel in comfort. Thus, to meet
the needs of the people who travel by trains
from the suburbs to the city, there is a great
need for the creation of a major underground
system or an elaboration of the existing system
through whatever means possible.
improvement in roads, through significant, has
been at a snail's pace. There is also a dire
need for expansion of the highway of the highway
networks across the oceans. That has been talked
about for long, but nothing concrete has emerged
so far. Bangkok, which reached a near breaking-point
some time ago, is now beginning to lighten up
as a result of the various highways built.
it is of particular importance to control the
beggar menace. It makes no sense to have certain
slum colonies supplied with electricity, water
and voters enlisted, but yet not provide them
with amenities like toilets and not make attempts
to make shanties more livable. On the other
hand, it is also important to eliminate the
possibility of proliferation of more slums,
which are a big deterrent to the development
of a good global capital.
basic amenities Bombay offers in terms of hospitals,
schools, restaurants, cinema houses, sports
facilities and playgrounds were fairly adequate
till about a decade ago, but the increase in
population has again put much strain on these.
advanced facilities for international executives,
such as good clubs, restaurants, hotels, a modern
airport, good residential localities, offices,
schools, theatre, arts and music, are comparable
to the best in Asia, except for our airport,
which needs to be expanded and upgraded.