CITIES LIKE Bhopal need financial resources for development and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) was providing an unprecedented opportunity to many towns to change into modern and well-equipped cities.
However, this would not be possible without close coordination between citizens during planning and accountability of the Municipal Corporation to the people. Apart from this, feedback mechanisms from citizens were an important part of any good planning process.
These were the opinions of young citizens of Carmel Convent S S School, BHEL who participated in a group discussion on JNNURM organised by HT-PACE in association with voluntary organisation, Samarthan, Bhopal on Friday on their school premises.
Students discussed various aspects of the programme like infrastructure development, broadening of roads, improvement in water supply system and maintenance of solid waste in the City.
They agreed in unison that all this was important and much needed in a relatively under-developed City like Bhopal. However, they felt it was important that such development take place where it was needed most and stressed that there should be mechanisms to build more transparency.
Nikita Anand of Class- XI suggested that boards displaying necessary information on the expenditure on the project, likely time requirement for completion of the project, number of people working and material cost etc should be displayed at all such projects.
Shradha from Samarthan, deliberated on the ‘Role of councillors, resident associations and local bodies’, which are important channels of taking and passing information. She stressed that such bodies must be encouraged in the City planning process. “Only increasing expenditure on infrastructure is not the solution. It is important to take measures which are important and may not involved extra expenditure,” she said.
Tanvi Patney said traffic regulation should be more stringent and be regulated especially during school timings. Similarly, the duty chart of sanitary workers should be available with the colony. Such small things do not involve much resources but are important to be included in the planning process.