Monday, July 6, 2009

Mumbai's shabby public infrastructure

Got masking tape?

For some reason, sloppy paint jobs abound in Mumbai. Not only are freshly painted railings and things not cordoned off until the paint dries, but they don't even have a simple sign saying “wet paint”. Thousands of passers-by find out the hard way, and taxpayer money ends up achieving fingerprinty finishes on public infrastructure.

This particular sloppy paint job was at the main entrance of one of Bombay's most beautiful buildings, a heritage site. I'm not naming it here because as soon as I took the picture, I was told photography is not allowed (of course there was no sign saying so!). But since nobody required me to delete the picture from my camera, here it is:

Here's a closer look on the other side of the arch:

Below is a shot of Platforms 1-2 at Khar Station in suburban Mumbai. They were painting the metal beams under the roof with a metallic silver paint (you can see the bamboo scaffold in the background). I guess it has just never occurred to anyone in the railways that it may be worth investing in some plastic sheeting or drop cloths, or at least requiring painters to spread old newspapers so that the benches and ground look neat afterwards.

Beautiful antique bench, splattered with silver metallic paint:

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