Monday, August 3, 2009

Cracks in the structure.

I have been thinking about the utter chaos prevalent in our metros and how there is total lack of accountability on any front. Getting sewage instead of drinking water? It is probably the unholy trinity of messed up road construction, overenthusiastic telephone cable guys and the water board. Who do you complain to when the process of complaining is worse than the problem at hand? The respective organizations are more than happy with the status quo, stepping forward to receive accolades while deflecting blame to whosoever turn it is.
Lot of these problems can be solved with a re-look of the structure of the local government. The mayor, police commissioner and municipal corporation are in and out before they can warm their seats. The mayor is not directly elected and citizens may be forgiven for forgetting such a post exists. So, reform this office and make the mayor the point person of everything that goes on in the city and full powers over all city boards (water, electricity, fire,police,traffic,health & sanitation). This has been mentioned repeatedly in many high level committees looking into improving urban governance, but sadly politicians are happy to let it gather dust.While the policy at the Centre for populist purposes will always have a rural tint, we need to set up effective local governance and this is the just the first step to ensuring a certain level of accountability. At the very least, you will know who to curse next time you fall into an open drain...assuming you are still alive.

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