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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Hardeep Singh Puri,

Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA),

Government of India

Hi sir,

I am an ordinary citizen of India. I want to talk to you on the present condition of infrastructure in India, and so, for that, please take this letter as a formal request and hope that you take a good look at the following issues being raised on the Infrastructure of India.

According to IMF recently, India became 2.6 trillion dollar economy and is on the verge to enter top three economies of the world. Cities have played a major role in attaining this figure. Although cities are revenue generator of the country, this announcement really asks, to any indian citizen for checking the livability standards of our cities and how do they stand among cities of countries whose economy are far less than that of India. The answer was more a question in itself,

We don't have even a single city that could rival any tier 2 or, even, tier 3 cities of the developing countries like Malaysia or South Africa, both quite behind in terms of everything - resources, economy, etc - in comparison to India, let alone the developed world. Many people whom I asked gave Mumbai as an answer. If Mumbai is our global city, then our standards are really poor for tier 1 or global city. Mumbai is the best example of how not to build or expand a city. Gandhi ji once said that if one has to explore real India, he must travel through rail. This aptly implies in the case of Mumbai. I am not, even, talking about to look at the cleanliness of the railway tracks or of that of the railway station, while travelling through Mumbai local. We just have to look at the number of huts or "jhopdis" and people living in them alongside the boundary walls separating railway track and the Mumbai, for every single skyscraper, number of jhopdis can be seen adjacent to that same skyscraper. A city just doesn't only mean skyscrapers or tall buildings, a city is more about the people and their interaction with the surrounding, how much they can enjoy in the city and most important, the cleanliness around in the city

We, in India, equate infrastructure, more so,with km of highways and expressways build rather than with new cities built or existing cities, having more than basic facilities, made more liveable. Sir, a common citizen in India, like me, rarely ever travels on highways around his city, and even when he travels, it is not more than two or three times in his entire life. He travels more on city roads, filled with potholes, while going to office for work, than what a common man will ever do in his his life on highways or expressways. The city roads are where most of his journey of his life is done. Now, this doesn't mean that we stop laying any new highways or stop repairing existing highways. We need highways to connect with hinterlands. But just paying attention to, only, highway construction as the measure of infrastructure spending, and not planned expansion or planned construction of existing or new new cities, respectively and allowing people, who migrate to cities, to assimilate easily in city and not burgeoning the already dilapidated condition of existing cities infrastructure, is not the perfect way to infrastructure development of India.

The migration of people from India to other countries is mainly due to their aspirations of living higher quality of life than what they get to live in india. The migration of an Indian in search of high quality education is complemented by migration of 75 indians in search of high quality of life

I want to present to you some possible solution to the problems faced by India. If India is to develop and become the golden bird our ancestors thought of our land to be, then, complaining shouldn't be the only aim, helping and doing our bit to tackle the problems, also, should be the part of the whole complaint process. The problems faced by India, no matter how complicated they seem, have solutions and fortunately for us, majority of them can be solved by changing our years old town planning system and rules, which needs a re look as being phrased decades ago.

Planned urbanisation and development of new cities :-

New cities must be built, if India is to offset the danger of overpopulation in existing cities and, at least, maintain the present quality of life of Indians. Amid the growing population, we need to build big, global and sustainable cities with world class infrastructure. We can't rely on the present cities have any other alternative as the existing cities have failed to provide the same quality of life like we get

We have to do more planned urbanisation. The map of any city or any area should have not only proper layout of the distribution of land for different purposes, like commercial and residential, but should also have proper layout of roads. The drainage system and water connectivity should be considered in the planning phase itself and not after the plots have been sold.

Illegalize all the colonies outside of the city area :-

This rule is really necessary in countering the haphazard expansion of cities. This is really important not just for maintaining the overall quality of life of the city and its surrounding areas but more so for the quality of life of the dwellers living in these houses. People living in these houses live a poor quality of life with no proper facilities. Recently many illegal colonies were legalised in delhi without paying any attention to condition of these colonies. People in these colonies live in very bad condition and suffer from many diseases due to unplanned construction. The right decision should have been to give these people new dwellings n some other part of the city and should have done planned residential or commercial development in this area.

Finish the concept of compound wall and gated communities :-

This is really needed if we ever want to see our cities become vibrant and bustling with people. In west they don''t encourage compound walls and that creates a sense of openness and free space. If we look at any cities of America, we find that they don't have the compound wall separating the present plot with the adjacent plot. All the open space is covered by grass and greenery around the plot is encouraged.

Noida and Gr. Noida are bustling with construction. Big commercial and residential buildings are being built. Yet these two cities are facing the above mentioned problems. Noida and Gr Noida have planned layout of the area but they suffer from lack of street pathways and, more so, from the problem of gated communities. The roads have more vehicular activity than residents footfalls. Every buillder is making gated communities and separating the resident of the community from the outside world by building number of residential buildings and then building compound walls around them. This is exact opposite of what a global or vibrant city is supposed to be and

Space between plots or buildings :-

This is the main issue when we talk about the haphazard and uncontrolled horizontal sprawl of delhi. The buildings(commercial and residential) or houses are constructed without leaving any area between them. In other countries, this is not the case, they have some left area between them. The colony or street with houses or buildings build at some distance to each other looks more aesthetic and artistic than houses or building right next to each other in a row without any distance between them, which we see in Delhi.

The meaning of house has to change, if we want to uplift the quality of life of our citizens. Whether a dwelling right next to other dwelling and just adjacent to other is a house for us or dwellings constructed away from each other at with right amount of greenery around is a house in our eyes.

Road with street walkways :-

Every road in India should have footpaths. Pathways, with acceptable width, should be the norm in every city of India. The meaning of the road should be changed in our town planning scheme.

No city in India boasts of good footpaths/street walkways, most even don't have any. Footpaths in Mumbai or in other indian cities are considered, more, an end to either side of the road than a clear and safe way that allows residents of the city to commute. This fact can be gauged by measuring the height and width of footpaths, if any, in mumbai or in any other indian cities. Footpaths should be considered part of a road and not a different premium infrastructure and whenever a city road is laid it should have . The image of Our Tier 1 or Tier 2 cities having 20 million population, or even less than that, with absence of street walkways and people walking on roads and vehicles making their own way through them, clearly states why we don't have any global cities, and quality of life in India continues to remind us why we are a third world country.

I, like all other Indians, have experienced the above problems of living in an Indian city. The civilisation which boasted of well planned cities, like Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, now suffers from such a situation that if urgent look into planned urbanisation isn't given, then the existing cities of India can become the prime factor in destruction of lives of many Indians. The Elphinstone station stampede, where 23 people died, in this regard, reminds us of the same, the years of neglect and the need to analyse the present condition of our tier 1 and tier 2 cities and expand them accordingly.

i hope that my suggestions give some solution to the current problems faced by India's infrastructure condition and hope we see a more Infrastructural advanced India along with an economically advanced India, Thank You.

4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·

Hi guys, i welcome your suggestions.
I have a request please spread this letter on twitter to Hardeep Singh Puri(MohUA), NITI Aayog head. We should plan to make this the central issue for next Central Election. We should also aspire to have such cities. BKC kind of infrastructure, that follow the above principle, should be standard all over the city and not in some places only.
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