[Editorial Notes : Guest article by Simarprit Singh, founder of popular mapping services MapsOfIndia.com and MapsOfWorld.com.]
This whole Telangana thing and uncertainty around it personally makes me very unhappy and my businesses poorer. Mapsofindia to a great extent and Mapsofworld to some extent are directly affected parties.
State bifurcations, name changes and delimiting of constituencies burn holes in our maps, they just destroy them. We have to go ahead and start all over again. When Orissa decided to call itself Odisha over few thousand printed India Maps had to be pulled out of circulation, two cartographers worked for over two months in just doing the very essential. Having done all that we still had to write off a few hundred maps (each map costs at least Rs 5,000 to get going) which we couldn’t reinvest in.
If a tiny little company like Mapsofindia finds itself under $1 Million or more just spare a few minutes to calculate what a national mess has been created for a few parliamentary seats.
I am not against Telangana, I am against random naming, renaming, bifurcation and proposals hanging for years together. For last there years we have been running a Proposed Map of Telangana and also proposed maps of few other areas which are asking for statehood.
This is an election year for us, election year for a mapping and information company is a huge investment season, of course there can be a pot of gold at the end, but whether you wish to go for it or not, you still have to invest to just remain alive. It takes sometimes a few years to create a product and than suddenly you find that there it goes out of circulation.
Three states were born under BJP, it was an expense alright but it was one integrated operation of opening and closing, this one is messy. Mapsofindia has all districts connected to other districts and districts bordering other states connected to their state maps, now suddenly, the district which connects to three other districts now connects to a state map and so on.
When we started in 1998 we had Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Bangalore, Pondicherry, Cochin and so on, every change brings in more confusion and more work. Case of Pondicherry is most hilarious, now we have Pondicherry and Puducherry both, and I am sure most politicians from even within Pondicherry won’t be able to explain the difference clearly and the fact that this tiny little Union Territory has tiniest of pockets spread across three states of India is another huge wastage of public money.
Being a map maker is tough but our Government makes it prohibitively expensive for onetime, insignificant, hypothetical political gains.