Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chennai is chaotic - The adminstration is in mortuary

I hate weekends, actually I love them, but the sight of the crowded roads and messy streets repels me like crazy.  I will rather do my shopping and eating up during the week days and chillax during the weekend. I got on to an auto yesterday and wanted to pick up some muchies in Grand Sweets Annanagar, the road was flooded and I really did not want to step on water, the driver carefully parked the vehicle near a dry patch and I had to some hop skip and jump to avoid water but I did get my new shoes wet.  My evening was already ruined.  Then the ordeal begins.  I got out of the shop and could find the auto parked nearly 100 mtrs away.  Now I have to dunk my feet in water, no choice really I was really cursing and some how hit the middle strand of the road and found a car competing with me to avoid his tyres from touching dirty water, he had the advantage of possessing a 'horn' and blew my top off.  I was at my wits end. I finally made it to the auto.

Whats happened to our civic administration?  our government?  Our press? they have all failed completely.  We the people are getting a raw deal indeed and we are getting used to such substandard infrastructure and expressing our anger with each other rather than raising our voice against those who are responsible.  I finally came home and I found the entrance to my own street blocked.  Can you believe it, I cannot enter my own street.  This is the last straw.  At 10.30 pm a man wanting hit the bed finds stranded on the street corner because some nincompoops  are  digging up the road.

According the Global Urban Competitiveness Report that took stock of 500 cities found Ne York to be the most competitive city in the world.  Cities are catalysts of growth and economic development.  The poor representation of Indian cities belies India's status as a rising economic power.  Let's face it, Indian cities lack many things that go towards making cities competitive — good infrastructure, enterprise management, business environment and quality of life.
    It's a good idea to benchmark Indian cities against criteria that make cities globally competitive, and then work on each of those criteria to improve a city's overall ranking. Bangalore is a good example of a city that has gone the other way. Although it gave rise to the phrase "being Bangalored", it appears to be losing its competitive edge due to poor infrastructure and lack of business environment. According to the report competitive cities are ones where local governments have autonomy and properly work out their relationship with the central government, engage market forces in government policymaking and maintain local features while expanding communications with the world. These are recommendations worth following.
    Local governments should take their jobs more seriously of facilitating balanced development of business and residential environment, besides developing multiple industries. Urban planners must outline development strategies clearly. They should encourage talent to come to their cities. It may be a good idea to have India-specific rankings of urban competitiveness as well, carried out by industry bodies such as the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
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