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Turning the place where we live into a… SPECIAL CORNER FOR SOCIALISING

07 Jan 2018 05:50am IST

Report by
Eugenio Viassa Monteiro

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07 Jan 2018 05:50am IST

Report by
Eugenio Viassa Monteiro

Leave a comment

As the years roll by, past investments made and growing expectations of citizens lead to greater awareness of material surroundings where people live, socialise and enjoy life.


As the years roll by, past investments made and growing expectations of citizens lead to greater awareness of material surroundings where people live, socialise and enjoy life.

Many times, adding charm to living requires little work and money. Useful ideas may spring up from selective focus and sensible argument. A few may get implemented while others will wait until someone finds interest to foster them.

Those holding public office in the administration of cities and villages must be keenly aware of their duties. Delivering them may bring about much-needed transformation of the territories under their jurisdiction. A few are listed below:

a) setting up a regular garbage collection and processing system that takes care of urban cleanliness. Commonly found garbage heaps are made worse by heat, rain, settling and fermentation of waste, spreading foul smells and attracting disease-carrying insects and rodents. A matter that India must take very seriously. Companies need to set up the logistics for adequate waste collection, treatment and recycling.

They will generate many jobs and a waste treatment economy, proved to be important.

b) tending gardens to grow flowers and lush plants in them;

c) laying out small or big parks where people may leisurely stroll and rest, equipped with benches and outdoor PT apparatus;

d) properly building pothole-free levelled sidewalks where everyone may feel comfortable to walk confidently;

e) routinely trimming trees bearing no branches below a certain height or growing in places where they might be hazardous to passersby or vehicles;

f) ensuring the elimination of sources for carrying and spreading disease such as water puddles or breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other insects;

g) finding lodging for displaced families living on the streets in shacks or under the sky, ensuring that children attend school when they must.

Fortunately the city of Delhi boasts a large forested green, garden-like as well. It balances out the extreme cold, heat and pervasive pollution. And across India there appears to be a strong culture geared to tree planting; trees are seen bordering the highways, railways, in places that have been spared concrete-built infrastructure, etc., and in the backyards of many private homes too.

How then to routinely provide urban services professionally and not randomly? Municipal and local layers of administration need to be strengthened. They have to be empowered, resourced and charged with solving very specific issues that impact the lives of millions. The administrative body should offer tenders aimed at small local companies assigning them with different types of jobs; they should perform strict oversight and demand that quality standards be continually met. Each will have a budget to manage and will be made sharply aware of the tasks expected of them. Importantly, they will know about their relevance for the well-being of the population.

The principle of subsidiary should be applied. Decisions of limited scope should be made closest to the problems they seek to address. Bids and tenders must be opened to all candidates and their launching free from overbearing bureaucracy.

Participation of the local population to spawn valuable ideas is welcome for two significant reasons: more focused minds enhance the thinking process by identifying problems faster and finding feasible solutions; also, regular meetings between interested parties educate the young who may later readily replace those currently on duty.

As in business, cities and regions should employ people in Planning. They would define priorities while finding matching resources. Brainstorming may eventually be advisable to determine people’s aspirations and a prioritised to-do list. Thereafter, tasks and responsibilities ought to be allotted and each person should be encouraged to carry out his duties diligently.

An organised local institution may easily obtain support to keep it running smoothly. If, on the other hand, it is found to be chaotic, progress will be achieved only when direction and control have been addressed first.

City and village neighbourhoods should have attractive fully-equipped meeting places. Citizens would willingly feel like sitting inside sheltered from the sun or the rain.

Social interaction may help develop friendships, improve neighbourliness and mutual help. Loneliness is thus overcome nearly effortlessly. And citizens would often find themselves undertaking common initiatives whose impact on society is priceless.

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