Sadly, the answer is a big “No”. We have for long blamed our city’s municipal corporation and other civic agencies for their ineptitude in maintaining the metropolis. We don’t follow up after complaining about the garbage, poor roads and lack of pavements. However, when the authorities begin improving some of the facilities, we respond by rampant vandalism. Does this augur well for Mumbai which is known as the commercial capital of India.
Take for instance the boards bearing street names. All of a sudden, long forgotten streets began to come to life, neighbourhoods regained an identity, and finding locations became that much easier. The boards are elegantly painted with names given much needed look from the distance. And wherever errors pointed out in the names of the streets correction was made in record time. The painting on the sides is clearly visible at night and that is also good for vehicle drivers. But these places have become a convenient spot for pasting notices and posters. For a change, the political parties are not to blame. In case you have not observed, the number of posters that ilk has come down drastically in the past couple of months after the civic body took action against offenders. Still valuables in the streets decoration are pilfered and sold for scrap.
Those at the bottom of the economic scale are probably indulging in these acts of vandalism. They probably need that space for advertising and also make money by selling valuables available on the streets used to beautify the city. We have seen revival of pavement in some localities. Efforts are being made to clear these of encroachments, relay the stones and make them comfortable for pedestrians. In order to prevent people from parking cars and other vehicles on the pavement blocks are made and height increased. Thus the height of platforms increases as climbing these high rise footpaths become difficult for children and senior citizens.
Let people also try to have a consideration and value for money as these developments takes place at the cost of tax payer’s money and damaging them in anyway is not in good taste. We should also become responsible citizens. Our Chief Minister, Corporators and Commissioners are all trying to have one to one interaction with the people and that extends the scope for bringing out genuine problems and solving them then and there without sending letters or publishing letters in newspapers. After all, “The government is of the people, by the people, for the people”.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)