Officials could learn a thing or two from superior road surfaces in India

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 May, 2011, 12:00am


I spent a week in India on business earlier this month, visiting Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai, and for a lot of the time was a passenger in the back seat of cars. While I was there, something struck me which I found astonishing. I realised that India's roads are better than those in Hong Kong.

It seems incredible, but it is true. I am not just talking about the brand new highways that India is building, but also the ordinary city streets. In all three cities - in a country notorious for its historical lack of infrastructure spending - they maintain their roads far better than Hong Kong.

Whoever it is in the Highways Department who has decided that it is fine to spend tens of billions of dollars on roads we don't want that go to places most of us don't want to go, should first of all spend a day driving through every road in Central. The official should do so in an average car rather than the overpriced VW Phaeton he or she is no doubt normally carried around in, and then (after a suitable rest to allow the resultant bruises to stop throbbing) start feeling very ashamed.

Given the ludicrous amounts of money the government is prepared to spend on posturing, grandiose, white elephant infrastructure projects, the problem cannot be lack of budget.

No, it is either a lack of willpower to spend money on basic infrastructure, or utter incompetence.

I am sure that properly resurfacing every existing road in Hong Kong would cost far less than the ridiculous Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau road bridge, and would be far more beneficial to everyone in Hong Kong.

So how about it, faceless Highways Department mandarin? Why not do something for our benefit for a change?

Ian Hardee, Central