Just wondering, where are those critics who had once questioned the need for India to send a mission to Mars?
The events of September 24 have not only earned the country a whole lot of interest, but also showed the world how a lot more can be accomplished with a shoestring budget.
India's Mangalyaan is the cheapest Mars mission ever -- it cost Rs 450 crore or nearly $67 million. In comparison, the American rover Curiosity costs over a whopping two billion dollars.
To put things in better perspective, here is a list of some things that cost a lot than the Mangalyaan mission:
This mega structure in the heart of the post south Mumbai locality belong to Reliance industries boss Mukesh Ambani. Ambani's 27-story, 400,000-square-foot skyscraper home Antilia named after a mythical island in the Atlantic, was valued at $222 million dollars (in 2008, please note)
The Mumbai Metro was conceptualised to reduce the city's dreaded traffic congestion, and supplement the existing, but severely overcrowded Mumbai Suburban Railway network. Now, it’s just adding to the commuters’ woes. The 11.40 km stretch running east-west between Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar alone cost Rs 4,321 crore (originally Rs 2,356 crore). That too has been plagued by issues. Remember the monsoon leaks inside coaches?
Oh, this one is gigantic. The infamous coal scam or ‘coalgate’ that sent the fortunes of the Manmohan Singh government and the Congress down the drain reportedly caused a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore for the national treasury.
Hey, Mangalyaan critics! You are still around, right?
Mumbai's latest star attraction, the Terminal 2 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport -- the four-storey glass marvel whose design is inspired by a dancing peacock -- was built at a cost of a whopping Rs 5,500 crore. The total project cost was Rs 12,500 crore, which includes a three kilometer long 'art walk' titled 'Jaya He' inside the T2 that displays Indian art pieces between the 8th century and 19th century.
Moving on to other things, do you know how much Pramod Mittal, the younger brother of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, spent on his daughter’s wedding? Shristi Mittal and investment banker Gulraj Behl marriage reportedly cost a whopping Rs 500 crore, which included a 60kg, six-storey wedding cake!
Phew! The insane amount we Indians spend on our marriages
Rs 24,000 crore -- That's how much Sahara group boss Subrata Roy owes around to investors who bought bonds sold by Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd. Roy is busy these days trying to sell off his assets from behind the bars to pay 10,000 crore that the Supreme Court has set as his bail amount.
And then we have the so-called ‘mother of all defence deals’ that is yet to take off. Indian Air Force's deal with French company Dassault Aviation for 126 Rafale fighter jets is worth Rs 1,50,000 crore (going by today's calculation). With price negotiations still on, one needs to remember the original cost of the acquisition: Rs 61,000 crore ($10 billion) in 2009.