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Improved Commute

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The introduction of the Vande Bharat train service between Dehradun and New Delhi is another step in improved connectivity between the two cities. It will not only decrease travel time but also provide better amenities. The timing is also very convenient, allowing people from Doon to reach Delhi with enough time to get their job done, making it possible even to return on the same day. This builds upon the earlier improvements provided by the Shatabdi and Jan Shatabdi services. Improvement in the quality of tracks will make it possible for the trains to run faster, although the constraints on speed will remain in the Rajaji National Park area.

The air service between Doon and Delhi from Jolly Grant had also provided a significant boost to connectivity, but given the waiting time, commuters may find Vande Bharat more convenient. This provides options to not just tourists but also the new class of WFH professionals that can live in the more laid back environment of Doon and check in with office in the NCR when required. At the same time, much is being expected with regard to road connectivity, as well as speedier metro type commutes that could reduce travel time to around two and a half hours. Do not be surprised if people begin a daily commute to places like Noida for work, as do many from cities in the proximity of the NCR.

Technology is an important factor that has made this possible, particularly that which has been indigenously developed. However, it has also required the necessary political will to push through projects that, at some point, may have seemed to be pipe dreams. It must not be forgotten that, in a democracy like India, there are many types of forces one comes up against when seeking to get things done. Some have legitimate concerns, but many are driven by political reasons, or the desire to monetise nuisance value. Recent exposes, for instance, have blown the lid on many of the much venerated activists that have made a living out of such agitations. Any party or person pushing through development despite such difficulties deserves praise, particularly as there is bound to be the occasional failure. The world is changing very fast and it is important to keep pace if the future generations are to benefit.