Wednesday, August 16, 2006


India's 59th Independence day celebrations are over and a big hooray to democracy, it still survives in some shape and form. After all these years India is still fighting some inside battles. Almost all of us have one complaint or the other from the governing bodies. Strange are the ways of these political demigods and their band of bureaucrats. For e.g. I have a small stretch of road before getting into the layout where I stay. This road got into a bad shape thanks to the trucks going to and from a nearby apartment being built. After almost a year, "authorities" came and asphalted these roads. My happiness was unbound as my car would be spared its regular bumps. This lasted a little over a month and last week "authorities" dug up the road to lay down pipes. Now, we are back to waiting for "authorities" to come fix it! angry

This points to so little planning and communication on the part of the concerned authorities. Quite ironically I have been closely following a series on National Geographic(TV) called Megastructures. Each and every episode of this series is mind boggling in terms of cost, size, vision, execution and conviction. The one that really impressed me the most was the episode on Palm Jumeirah.

Of course the whole land reclamation, simultaneous construction and managing natures fury was all impressive, but most impressive was the vision of the man who wanted to make this at any cost and on time(2006). The Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, knows all too well that the oil reserves of the middle east and more specifically his country will not last forever. Understanding the urge for the average joe in most developed/developing countries having a penchant for travelling, he decided on banking on tourism to keep his coffers from running dry once the oil ran dry. His first project was the Burj-Al-Arab, the costliest hotel in the world.

He quickly realized that what the tourists love the most about his country was its luxurious lifestyle and the beautiful coastline. But unfortunately Dubai has only some 70kms of coastline. People don't want to be crammed close to one another on the beach! And here started the story of the Palm Island(s). As if the Palm Jumeirah was not tough enough, he has already started work on two more Palm islands! Does this stop the man? Nope! If we have gotten this far, why not have a bunch of islands placed in the middle of the ocean in the form of the world?? Each costing a few millions!

Now, this is vision, conviction and execution at its best!

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