ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Where there is a will…

Where there is a will…
Highlights

Life in cities across India has virtually come to a standstill due to incessant rains. Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru suffered a similar plight. Nature’s fury compounded by abysmal urban governance proved to be disgusting for citizens in India’s urban agglomerations. The pathetic experience mocks at our dream to make cities smart. 

Life in cities across India has virtually come to a standstill due to incessant rains. Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru suffered a similar plight. Nature’s fury compounded by abysmal urban governance proved to be disgusting for citizens in India’s urban agglomerations. The pathetic experience mocks at our dream to make cities smart.

Hyderabad is the abode of missile manufacturing. Even India’s only Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) was fabricated in the city itself. Spare parts used in BMW cars are produced here. Men of unparallel caliber like Bill Gates and Tim Cook fell in love with this city.

Yet, people fall into manholes and lose their lives. This city of pearls is turning into a city of manholes. Absence of efficient storm water drainage system, woefully inadequate water harvesting space, obstruction of natural flow of water due to encroachments with the help of political patronage etc., result in urban flooding.

Shockingly, rain water is not allowed to flow into the water bodies. But, sewerage is not prevented from flowing into fresh water bodies. Water logging, polluted water bodies coexist in cities with the rapid depletion of groundwater reserves.

Lack of co-ordination among various official agencies is making the life of people miserable. Municipal authorities lay the roads, but within hours, another department digs it up. But, they show scant regard to the need for covering the pits.

People living in low-lying areas find life impossible as no permanent solution is found. Poor quality of roads makes them vulnerable to even few hours of heavy rain. Contractors are not held accountable. The government officials who are beneficiaries of inept and corrupt system prefer to perpetuate the inefficiency.

It is not that city’s problems do not have any engineering solutions. However, what is seriously lacking is a strong political will that goes beyond empty sloganeering. Maintaining roads, drains, etc., is not a rocket technology. The DRDO could deliver Agni missile in four years though it had a mandate to accomplish the task in five years.

But, the construction of Kukatpally flyover took 10 long years. Desiltation of tanks, repairs of roads, inspection of dilapidated buildings, covering manholes etc., should be taken up well in advance so that the city prepares for the onset of monsoon.

The population growth in cities often overwhelms the urban infrastructure. Urban development is a multi-disciplinary effort. Forests have a special service to govern. But, cities do not have a metropolitan development service with specialised training and expertise. The yawning gap between policy formulation and its actual execution needs to be bridged.

Technology alone will not solve all the problems. Besides adoption of modern technology in urban governance practices, competent human resources can only deliver quality life to city populace. Professionalism has to be infused into all stages of urban development and governance.

Perspective planning with time-bound and disaggregated targets with constant monitoring should be integral to the management of cities. The governance and development policies of Indian cities have to undergo a paradigm shift.

Show Full Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
Subscribed Failed...
Subscribed Successfully...
More Stories


Top