I live in Cuffe Parade and I want the Metro

NIMBY activists, get off of my Metro.

Here’s the latest headline I stumbled across today: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/cuffe-parade-residents-move-hc-seek-stay-on-metro-iii-work/articleshow/56766507.cms

Whoever you residents are, please cease and desist yourself.

These are the same idiots who will do everything to obstruct and impede anything that looks remotely like improving our lot and then will carp and crib about how much the whole project has been delayed and how much over budget it now is.

These are also doubtless the same idiots who will refuse to pick up after their dogs who poop all over our pavements rendering them unfit for us fellow citizens to walk on.

And since the pavements are unfit to walk on and the traffic converts a one kilometer distance into a thirty minute crawl thereby making private cars, buses, taxis and Uber great in theory but lousy in practice, I WANT A METRO!

In a few short years I will officially become a senior citizen and that coincides nicely with the much trumpeted alleged date of completion of the Metro III.

As a senior citizen, I would love to stroll out of my apartment building, walk a few steps, tumble down an escalator, and hop onto an air-conditioned train that will carry me in speedy comfort to the places I most need to go: the nearby cinema at Nariman Point, my yoga class near CST, my friends in the middle city and in the suburbs… without having to fret about traffic and parking and lousy drivers and the weather.

The petitioners are complaining that due process has not been followed in acquiring land and passages and roads and etc. and that “roads and streets will be blocked and traffic diverted.” And “The Act, stated the petition, recognized that construction of a Metro Railway was likely to cause tremendous hardships and adversely impact the health of citizens. It recognized the right of those affected to have their objections heard and decided by a competent authority (CA) appointed under the Act, and the right to receive compensation if their objections are rejected.”

So, the construction is likely to cause tremendous hardship, eh? And adversely impact my health? How about the tremendous hardship I’m facing right now with the lousy roads and the unspeakable pavements and the pollution from all those cars (including mine) and buses? And your dog poop? How about a competent authority to compensate me for all this since it’s obvious my objections have been rejected for the last decade or more that I’ve been living here?

And when the Metro is complete and you start using it? Are you going to refund that compensation because you can now start getting from point A to point B in a relatively civilised manner?

This suit looks awfully like a NIMBY money-grabbing attempt to cause delays and obstructions in a long overdue attempt to ease some of the problems of this maximum city.

As an aside, I’m willing to bet even money that at least some of the people behind this suit have visited other cities around the world and have ridden on their Metro-equivalents (the Tube, the SMRT, the subway, the whatever) with great equanimity and have probably moaned the fact that India’s premier city has nothing like it (except for the fledgling Metro I and the even more infant Monorail).

This is the biggest problem with democracy and… cue all the liberals to crawl out of the woodwork and start labelling me fascist or alt-right. But the thing about democracy is that it is also a responsibility. A responsibility to act in a sensible and mature manner about things that you may not agree with and which may inconvenience you but which promise to at least somewhat alleviate a pressing problem, especially if both the problem and the solution are quite literally in my back yard.