This piece is not for those who cannot laugh

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: It’s AD 2056.

The advances made in the last 50 years are truly amazing. Travel between Earth and Moon is routine, and one can’t believe somebody paid US $10 million for a visit to Moon and back in 2020. Now, a routine round trip to Moon costs less than $1000, economy class! Bombay–Delhi is covered in 5 hours flat on the Maha Shatabdi Bullet Express.

The Chief Secretary of Karnataka beeped and came on the videophone and announced an urgent multimedia conference.

I flipped my palmtop to computer mode and saw a beaming CS on the screen, ready for the meeting. It must have been very important or urgent. Otherwise, the CS rarely calls for a multimedia conference without enough notice. I noticed on the screen my colleagues from media were already there. 

“Good morning! Sorry, I didn’t give enough time. The Cabinet has cleared sharing the cost of the Bangalore- Mysore Railway Project with the Centre. The survey work between Ramanagaram and Chennapatna will start soon.” 

“You must be talking about the Banglore Mysore Railway Double Line Project (BMRDLP), estimated at Rs 5,000 crore. We saw the project report in the Rail Museum! That’s really good news. Have they cleared R-C survey also?” 

“The CM himself conveyed this over videophone. He has released US $10 Million for the survey.”

“US$10m is peanuts! I don’t know what you can achieve with such measly amount.  When do you think the BMRDLP will be completed, sir?”

“You are looking too far ahead! Tomorrow morning, I’m going to Delhi by Maha Karnataka Express and will be back by night. I’ll get the Railway Minister to commit a decade for this. I’m hopeful either by 2080 or 2090, this should be through. In any case before 3000.”

“Nobody will believe we’ll have a Bangalore-Mysore double line by 2090! You are an incurable optimist, Sir!”

“Let’s see. Even our MPs and MLAs are working overtime on this! There’s yet another piece of good news. The Chief Justice has selected the building for the Hubli-Dharwad High Court! He called me on the way to Moon and conveyed this. He was on his way to attend to some personal litigation work! It’s an old building, but the PWD has been asked to renovate it. Within the next 20 years, the PWD will make it into as good as new. I have just now sanctioned Rs 100 crore.  From 2076, when the court becomes operational, Hubli and Dharwad people won’t have to come to Bangalore any more!”

“Are you sure by 2076, H-D H-C will start its work?” 

“We are trying hard. The prime minister himself wants to inaugurate this. But he goes to Mars so often for the G-37 meeting of Developed Countries! Must some how get suitable dates from him……”

“Any other project in the pipeline?”

“Nothing till I come back from Saturn Space Station where all the State Chief Secretaries are meeting to discuss ‘Fast Track Projects for Developed Countries’. I am the presenting Bangalore-Mysore Railway double line and the Hubli-Dharwad high court projects.”