The New York Times ran a glowing article (and accompanying slide show) about the Delhi metro last week. The article describes the metro as “miraculous” and waxes optimistic that “it offers new hope that India’s perpetually decrepit urban infrastructure can be dragged into the 21st century.”
If everything in the article is true (a fairly good bet) and no major concerns have been omitted (that’s the hard part when forming narratives for the news), then this seems like a great accomplishment for the Indian urban middle class. More infrastructure improvements like this could keep them from moving to the growing number off-the-grid private communities that provide the comforts and services that the government doesn’t currently guarantee (e.g. clean streets, consistent power, &c.) These private communities are very comfortable and I totally understand why a family would want to move to one. (full disclosure: I’m writing this post from one right now.) However I worry that as the growing middle class – the target of those India Shining campaigns – moves into these communities, the government will receive less pressure to improve city services and infrastructure. And that will prevent the poor and lower middle classes needs from getting served.
So I hope this is a step forward. Have any Delhi based TVFC readers tried the new Metro? If so, did your experience align with the NYT’s description? Loyal TVFC reader Kat Likkel sent in this recent photo of the in-progress metro, which should be completed in the fall: