Thursday, April 29, 2010

The State of India's Infrastructure and Football

Revenge is so sweet! Barcelona are out of the Champions League! Although the match was pretty boring, I think Inter defended fantastically well and deserve to go to the finals although many football purists will be shaking their heads and saying Inter did not deserve to play in the final. So here we are, Champions League finals. Inter Milan versus Bayern Munich. None of the "big" names left in the competition. No Man Utd, no Barca, no Real, no Chelsea. I'm hoping Bayern go on to win the CL and lift the trophy again. All my friends in Munich will definitely be hoping for a Bayern victory.

Jose Mourinho is a brilliant tactician and I get the feeling that Real Madrid will make a move to grab him at the end of the season. I think he is just the right kind of person a team like Madrid needs. I've been a life long Madrid fan but they haven't given us too much joy over the last few years, Their Champions League performance over the last 9 years has been nothing short of pathetic. But Real haven't helped themselves with all that big spending and have never given their coaches enough time to settle in and make the team play as one solid unit. The last manager to server them for more than a year was probably Del Bosque.

I got a treadmill test done yesterday and the results are all normal. I have more or less completed a full round of medical check-ups and the body seems to be in good condition minus the cholesterol which seems to be a little high. No cause for alarm but I think it is a reminder to go easy on my diet.

The problems in Greece caused some panic in the markets yesterday but I was pleased to see that my portfolio has not taken too much of a hit.

I've been thinking about the infratructure sector in India and trying to figure out why we are in such poor shape when it comes to basic infrastructure like roads, ports and most importantly power. Living a metropolis like Bangalore we do not bear the brunt of power cuts but nevertheless we have power cuts of upto 2 or 3 hours a day. Rural areas are for most parts truly 'left in the dark' when it comes to power. 

It's been 19 years since we began our economic reforms and we are no better off than we were then when it comes to infrastructure. Yes we have begun to see much better roads thanks to initiatives like the Golden Quadrilateral but that covers only a small percentage of what needs to be done. Given that infrastructure projects typically have long gestation periods, I wonder why the government did not begin to take major decisions on improving infrastructure when we began reforms in 1991. The only answer I can seem to give is total lack of foresight. China over the last 20 years has built a highway system that is bigger than what the United States managed to build in 35 years after the war.  Cant our wise babus spend their time in parliament discussing such matters rather than trying to slit watch others throats over petty issues? Why can't we have people who put the country first ahead of their personal agendas rule this nation? Will India be just the elephant that never learned to run?

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