On Behalf Of Dr Adhiraj Joglekar
I have read this thread with some interest. Couple of comments. As a medic perhaps to me it is very obvious and hence find the need for evidence to make a case where the REAL choice is between better healthcare, food, or education instead of better transport strange.
Having thought about it though, anyone who Google’s (or is willing to) and indeed anyone who understands ground realities of a country like India will not need much of an evidence. Indian Public Health expenditure is 1-2% of its GDP (7-8 % for most Western Nations). Oddly when we include out-of-pocket
spend on health, India spends 6% of its GDP (less than 5% have medical insurance) – telling figures for a country where 40% are under BPL!!
Compare National Health / Education budgets with those touted for half dozen metro systems, the difference is stark when one thinks the former is meant to be for 1.2 Billion and latter for 10th of that number.
Systematically spending over years has been localised to urban metro cities – no wonder every villager runs to these cities in hope of a decent wager (only to live in shanties though it does become possible to survive than starve).
I have to admit I was perturbed by what is a realistic statement / question – could the money have been more wisely spent? probably. was or is it likely? not very. The answer is probably highly likely. But does that make it good enough to not steer the ship differently or should it become an excuse, rather convenient one to be used to build one industry at cost of many others that are far more vital for masses (many times over than the masses that will use the metro) of what is still a poor country (when thinking per capita incomes).
PT does not exist in a bubble, though much of debate seems to suggest this to be the case.