The malady of public infrastructure in India

When public works are reduced to instruments of self-enrichment, designers and planners lose any stimulus to apply themselves.

On the afternoon of 4 September, Cyrus Mistry, the former chairman of Tata Sons, was killed along with a friend, Jehangir Dinshaw Pandole, in a car crash outside Mumbai. A few days later, Bengaluru, the soi-disant Silicon Valley of South Asia, was deluged by a biblical flood. The billionaire scion of India’s most distinguished business family killed in a road accident, the poster child of India’s economic transformation submerged in water: the two tragedies threw into nightmarish relief the state of our urban infrastructure.

Death on the road is accepted as such a quotidian fact of Indian life that the …


Kapil Komireddi

Kapil is a journalist, book critic and author. His first book, Malevolent Republic: A Short History of the New India (2019), was published to critical and commercial acclaim in India, the UK and the US. He has written from South Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East—including Syria, Pakistan and Palestine—and his work appears, among other publications, in The New York Times, The Critic, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The Economist, TIME, CNN, The Guardian and Le Monde diplomatique. He is a frequent contributor to The Spectator and an international affairs panellist on Monocle24 radio.