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   As you must have read, the government has decided... (September 4, 1991)

As you must have read, the government has decided to allow private industrialists to finance traffic flyovers in the city. Among the applicants is my friend who lives on the 21st floor.

This morning, when I called on him at his house, he was examining the scale-model of a flyover that his engineers had designed. "I have offered to finance ove flyover," he told me. "After all, in these times of financial crunch, it is our duty to assist Mr. Pawar and Mr. Pasricha."

"I am happy to hear that," I said. "If only the Birlas, Tatas and Mahindras were as civic-minded as you are, all our traffic problems would be solved. Have you decided which flyover you are going to construct, the one at Dhobi Talao or the one at Rani Laxmibai Chowk?"

"Actually, I was thinking of having one direct flyover extending from Dhobi Talao to King's circle, with various clover-leaves leading into Wadala, Prabhadevi, Mahim etc.," my friend said.

"That would be great, it would be better than any flyover Tokyo has got," I said. "Have you submitted the details of construction?"

"My engineers have prepared a preliminary report. The flyover will be on three separate levels: one for BEST buses and other heavy traffic, one for trains, and one for private cars. There will be a special level for VVIP cars, so that prime ministers with their convoys, on their visits to Bombay, may sweep through the city without dislocating the rest of the traffic."

"You think of everything," I said. "On the highest deck of the flyover, there will be a landing strip for airplanes. Planes may then land and take-off from anywhere between Dhobi Talao and King's Circle, and passengers may board them along the route without having to go all the way to the airport."

"Very convenient," I said. "What about pedestrian, will they be allowed to walk on the flyover?"

"Certainly not, all over the world pedestrians are not allowed to walk on flyovers," my friend said. "However, for those pedestrians want to use the flyover and cannot do so because they do not have a car, I have decided to provide them with cars. Only regular Maruties, not 1000. And, after they have used them, they may keep them."

"And has the government agreed to your proposal?" I asked.

"Well, yes," my friend said. "The only hitch is that I said I will complete the entire flyover in one month, and the government insists I should take 20 years over it, otherwise all the municipal contractor who have been constructing flyovers and subways so far will object."

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