Imagine the following:
The traffic police in the city wants a traffic light installed at a certain road crossing. The police commissionerate writes to the ‘authorities concerned’. Despite several reminders, six months go by, and the light is not installed.
On Gurgaon’s natural waterbodies, water channels and drains, which helped rainwater find its way out of the city, authorities allow builders to make constructions. And the district conservator wonders why his repeated objections have not been heeded.
A road is paved after years of agitation by residents. Ten days later, the water department comes and digs it up again. They lay their pipes and fill the excavated portion of the road with soil. But the road remains damaged. Its condition never improves.
An infrastructure project is proposed with great urgency. It could be changing a sewerage line, widening a road, laying new pipelines or revamping a village. The file is sent to Chandigarh for approval. Months go by and nothing happens. Residents continue waiting for the red tape to unwind.
These are just some of the hundreds of issues that indicate a critical lack of coordination between the large number of agencies active in Gurgaon. This has been ignored by successive governments for years. The chaos on July 28 (when waterlogging and poor traffic management led to a 20-hour gridlock of the city). 2016 was the city’s way of saying, “enough is enough”.
All these issues can be addressed if we can ensure that:
1. Gurgaon has one agency headed by a very senior officer, who has the authority and responsibility for all infrastructure planning, development and coordination in the city without political interference.
2. Approvals for all projects in Gurgaon are available in Gurgaon itself and no file has to be sent to Chandigarh.
3. Adequate expert manpower and funds are made available to an agency to enable it to carry out its functions smoothly.
The Gurgaon Development Authority is meant to be just such an agency.
Demands for creating GDA have been made for years but have been ignored by successive chief ministers. Now for the first time something substantial about this has been done. This may help change Gurgaon into a true Millennium City.
Author: Kishore Asthana, is President of Mensa India and is on the advisory board of JAFRA Gurgaon. He was a member of the drafting committee of the GDA bill.
Credits ET Realty