Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Public Body & Expectations of the City!

Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out...Stephen Covey.

Well by this time the elections would have been over & the scene on the horizon of the city's public body i.e. PMC ruling must be clear, as when I started writing the subject Prachar was in full bloom with every candidate busy in telling how they will bring a smooth, trouble free life for the citizen of this very city. Like every Producer/Director of any new releasing movie always says about his movie that “It's different from other movies”, here also every one is promising about the change they will bring in for the city! Agreed our column isn't for elections poll or opinion or political views but unfortunately this side of the society is not only very much closely associated with the infrastructure as well the growth of the city but with entire character of the city! Now, one will ask what is character of the city? Well it’s the way one look at the city & feel the city. Not many years ago the city is known as "Pensioner's Paradise" so the character was a cool, cozy laid back attitude with very less hustle of traffic & movement on streets, where the shops used to open up at 10 am & get closed for afternoon nap & by 8pm the whole city used to get stand still! Slowly with passing years we changed our character as "Education Capitol" with increasing number of students from all part of the country till recent times where as now we call our self proudly as IT as well Industrial Hub & even with growing number of auto industries  "Detroit of West"!

Remember, no tags come free of cost! And adhering to the same not only the city has changed the character but the needs also have changed & here the election of Public Body comes in picture when related to city growth. Home is the very basic & primary need of any citizen & as the city is getting the tag which is related to giving employment to many new comers naturally this very need of homes is also on constant increase is a fact. Question is not about how is Real Estate segment doing question is, are we in position to provide the homes to thousands of needy ones? And sadly the answer is no! Here again many will say its greed of the Real Estate Developers which is not allowing to make the home prices in budget of needy ones! Partly yes but in any failure it’s never a single point reason especially when the subject is as complex as Home front. After all a city is not ruled by just developers but by the people & the public body they vote & the policies this public body makes! Here is where we have to look for fulfillment of our expectation. As these are the people to whom we have voted are going to make the policies which will be giving this city strength to stand for the character it has got!

The city needs good home & a good home is not only judged on the basis of cost or amenities or how much it will appreciate in future but a good home is the quality of life it's surrounding offers to the person living in it. And quality doesn't mean Italian Marble flooring or Luxurious Bath room Fittings , that any one can have as per his spending capacity. Quality of surrounding is to be felt by moving on the streets of the city, it has to be seen on the faces of the citizen & shared in their talks. Today we keep on reading about the expectations about the city from the citizens on all forums right from media to talk shows. Again agreed no one can fulfill all the expectations of the society but can at least try for it & the problem is people feel no one is even trying to fulfill their expectations! And what are the expectations? Surely no body is asking for the ride to moon but very basics like proper water, good public transport, clean roads, encroachment free foot paths & cycle tracks, affordable education & medical facilities are few of them. This no one can buy individually but it’s the outcome of the policies the rulers of the public body will decide & execute up on the same. This is the responsibility elected members will be carrying & to whom if not them the common man should look for? The people have voted for the expectations & these expectations will decide the faith of the character of the city in coming years.

Again not going in to politics yet can’t resist to mention that in the campaign there was a common tone by many that if they get single handed majority then they can make the difference! Here the common man may think how can doing good be a different agenda for different parties? Does the definition of a good city differs from person to person? At some extent it may, like going for Metro under the ground or over the ground but what about strengthening the existing public transport & making the road net work fast? Why the DP of the city has been kept at hold for so long & when passed yet issue which is of grave importance to the reducing Biodiversity within & around the city has been kept hanging? There are many vacant pockets in the newly (now even this term has become old)  acquired villages, so why the lands reserved for various purposes are not being acquired fast enough & developed for the purposes it has been reserved? How there can be difference in opinions for such cause? Why all the elected members can’t come together for fulfilling the expectations for what they have been elected? Here why can’t we forget the boundaries of the party & let subject of city development rules over their flags? Many may laugh at the innocence of this thought but these are the questions a common man keeps fighting as he knows their only lays the way to getting his dream fulfilled of having a small home with good surrounding & proper infrastructure that too at price affordable to his pocket! I think we all have that much right to ask such questions to those whom we have voted & elected!

I think the new body has a great responsibility as the city is undergoing lots of changes& coming years will be deciding what character we will have or go characterless? As it’s shocking that 40% of the population resides in slum which some 30 years back was unheard of in this city!  Also it doesn't mean that the lucky 60% who resides in proper form of home are happy with the infrastructure outside their home & have no complaints about the city. One can buy best furniture in his house by spending money but can’t get even a foot length drainage line outside of his building or get the piece of public road paved properly is a fact. That's job of public body & it’s a big responsibility as these millions of voters need roads & drainage & things like that & for that they will held the elected members only responsible! As making these policies fast & implement them is sure way to make the need of home for every citizen gets fulfilled. It may not be the only way but the more & more vacant land comes under proper purpose for which it has been reserved with evenly distributed infrastructure all around the city will surely help in balancing the home prices evenly. Or else the current situation is where all infrastructure is there the prices are way above budget because of the limitation of such lands & where prices are in budget there is no basic infrastructure like water & drainage leave apart social things like schools & medical facilities, so there no one can live happily. And in all such situation those who have home are facing problems like poor public transport, water shortage & many more are continuing to face the life cursing the city itself! Surely this is not the sign of a good city & if not acted immediately the picture is going to get deteriorated fast is writing on the wall! Hope our new rulers are able to read it! After all it's not just the people in the city individually but the expectations of the city in itself, is what matters! This is what the elected members have to realize while taking the charge of the city.

Agreed the situation isn't going to change in one night but remember this one night is made up of five years & its our job doesn't end by just voting once in five years! Like the quote says the job of making our leaders realize about the first things will be on ever, then only we can expect of materializing them in existence!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

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