08th, August, 2009
Dr. Manmohan Singh,
The Prime Minister of India,
Subject: Invitation to take a bike ride with me from Thane to Mumbai and back
Respected Prime Minister,
I know you are one of the busiest men in India if not the world. A huge responsibility rests on your shoulder and it is not an easy job heading a nation like India. However, I hope that you will spare five minutes to read this letter of mine. I will try to keep it short and simple. This is to highlight the risk a common man goes through travelling on unsafe roads in India.
I stay in Thane city, neighbouring the financial capital of India, Mumbai. My office is in Hiranandani, Powai. It is close to IIT Powai, one of the premier educational institutes in India. I ride my bike to office and it has become a risky affair these days. I travel on the Eastern Express Highway and then move on to the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road which passes through Powai. The road is undergoing widening and concretization. This is fine. However, the condition of the existing road is pathetic. There are pot-holes everywhere. In the night, street-lights do not function. This is also the case on the Eastern Express Highway. I do not know whether you understand how risky this is for a bike rider. Rains add to the danger.
So, I invite you to take a bike ride along with me from my residence in Thane to my office in Hiranandani-Powai, Mumbai. I am a safe rider and you can trust me for that. We could start the journey in the evening, spend some time in my office and then in the night we could take a ride back to my home. I have never been to Shanghai but have heard a lot about your dream to convert Mumbai into Shanghai. I am not sure how much of it you have achieved. Since, I have not been to Shanghai I do not understand the condition of the roads out there. Do they also have pot-hole ridden roads and unlit roads? Is that the reason you wanted Mumbai to have them too? What purpose do they serve? Maybe the Chinese government would want its citizens to take up adventure sports. Are you trying to emulate them? If yes, then it concerns me even more. I understand that when a Prime Minister pays visit to any part of the country, the administration there ensures that the road he takes is devoid of pot-holes and all the streetlights function properly. I fear that if they chose to do the same when you decide to accept my invitation of taking a bike ride along with me, then your dream will remain unfulfilled.
It also seems that the World Bank is not aware of your dream to convert Mumbai into Shanghai. Please check the link below:
In the above link it has been mentioned that The World Bank has expressed displeasure over handling of the road widening project on Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR). They fail to understand that unsafe roads in India help control the ever growing Indian population. Being an economist, you can explain the effects of over population on the country’s economy. It was foolish of me to have complained at the following website about the condition of the roads in Mumbai:
This is the status of the issue that I reported on the Public grievances portal:
Registration No : DARPG/E/2009/09301
Name : Vijitkumar
Received by : Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances
Forwarded To : Government of Maharashtra
Address : Shri. Sanjay Ubale
: Secretary ( AR and O&M)
: General Admn. Deptt.,
Date of Action : 15/06/2009
I am sorry to have acted in haste on this. I reported the issue in the month of May 2009 and expected to get it resolved by July 2009. I kept following up with them but never got a reply. I realize it now that India works on a 5 year plan. Maybe I should approach them in May 2014.
Please let me know when you will be able to spare time for the bike ride I suggested. I am eagerly awaiting your reply.