Sadly, the answer is a big “No”. We have for long blamed our city’s Corporation and other civic agencies for their incompetence in keeping our city clean. We have become complacent after complaining about the garbage, the poor roads and the lack of pavements. But when the authorities begin improving some of the facilities, we respond by rampant vandalism. Such incidents don’t augur well for the residents of Mumbai which is known as the commercial capital of India.
Names have been assigned to several streets in Mumbai. All of a sudden, long forgotten streets and neighbourhoods regained an identity, and finding locations became that much easier. The boards are elegantly painted with names painted in big fonts so that they are easily visible for pedestrians. Wherever errors are pointed out in the names of the streets correction was made in record time. But these places have become a convenient spot for pasting notices and posters. For a change, the political parties should not be blamed. In case you have not observed, the number of posters that ilk has come down drastically in the past couple of months, it being reliably construed that informal orders are in order to that effect from senior officials. Still equipments used in streets decoration are stolen and sold to scrap dealers.
Those at the bottom of the economic scale are probably indulging in this type of vandalism. They make money by selling valuables available on the streets used to beautify the city. But what about the rich and affluent citizens? 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 height of footpaths have been increased in the city. Climbing these high rise footpaths become difficult for children and senior citizens. Thus steps must be taken to make them user friendly.
Make people aware about the value for money as these developments takes place at the cost of tax payer’s money and people must not damage public property. We should also become responsible citizens. Our Corporators and ward officials are trying to have one to one meet with the people in the area and that extends the scope for bringing out genuine problems and solving them immediately without the need of sending letters or publishing them in newspapers. After all, “Government is of the people, by the people, for the people”. We make use of the facilities and protect them from deterioration and keep the city neat and clean and prove that we are also responsible citizens of India.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)