Urban Development – Future Roadmap28th April 2018
Urban development starts with proper town planning. But this is largely missing in our country today.
Not completely missing by the way, New Bombay (Navi Mumbai) and Chandigarh are well planned cities. Having resided in New Bombay for several years I can vouch for the fact that facilities are much better planned in New Bombay than the neighbouring Bombay. Having said this, these planned cities still fall short in many aspects, which we may discuss in different write-up I guess.
Town planning – today
Now we may need to forget about proper town planning and work with what we have, for most of the urban centres in India. However there are some essential aspects like minimum amount of open space, good quality roads, proper drainage facilities, minimum amount of vegetation in the form of parks etc. We need to work out these aspects even if the town is already congested and does not have enough space to accommodate these.
Solid waste management
Probably this is one of the most critical worries in today’s urban India. Population has increased manifold in the urban centres and solid waste management is becoming unmanageable today. Probably we may need to seriously think about processing the waste and may consider generating electricity from it, creating manure etc. Innovative methods like using the plastic waste in road construction, are useful in this case.
Controlling air pollution
Air pollution has been a silent killer in the yesteryears. But today the ill effects of air pollution are very evident, with the increase in lung diseases in cities. Delhi has become a serious victim of air pollution with the dubious distinction of being the most polluted city. It is very ironic that the country’s top decision makers reside and work in Delhi, still nobody is much bothered about improving the air quality of the city. Top decision makers of the country are spending tax payers’ money to buy air purifiers to get quality air for themselves but not interested in improving the overall quality of air in the city. Isn’t it a sad state of affairs?
There are several measures we can undertake to reduce air pollution such as creating awareness to stop burning waste by the citizens and/or corporation sweepers themselves, encouraging commuters to use suburban train services, car pooling, other public transport facilities etc., streamlining traffic signal system to reduce waiting time at signals and other such steps.
Providing quality drinking water
Water scarcity is staring at us worldwide. We have seen severe drought in California and Cape Town stopping water supply. In India we are seeing many rivers dying, including that in Kerala (Bharathapuzha being an example) where there is higher percentage of forest area than other states. Lakes in Bangalore drying, dams in Maharashtra and other parts of India drying. All these facts point to the urgent need for being very innovative in the way we manage the water supply and usage.
Enhancing the road network
Enhancing the road network in an already congested urban centre is a tricky affair. Widening of the roads and creation of new roads may become difficult due to the logjams in land acquisition. Elevated highways may become the only viable option in such scenarios.
Quality education, employment , quality healthcare
These facilities may be largely be available to city dwellers since there are so many players in these sectors in urban centres. If any section of the residents lack any of these facilities, govt may need to step in to fill the void.
A couple of decades down the line we may end up being in a tricky scenario wherein we may have lot of money, many cars, apartments at different parts of the city and/or in different cities, several TBPS (Tera Bytes Per Second!!!)of internet speed but may not be having enough drinking water, no quality air for breathing, no quality food. This is not science fiction, some of these are already happening in front of our eyes, today and now (as narrated above)!!!!
Time to be AWARE, ALERT and to ACT!!!
[The views, thoughts and ideas expressed in this blog post are that of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in this blog post do not reflect the views of Distinct Voices and Distinct Voices does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same]