OPPORTUNITIES DO not come knocking at our door every day but when they come, we fail to welcome them with open arms (minds). The same seems to be happening with JNNURM which could prove to be a boon for Bhopalites and to the whole State but we are bent on proving it to be bane for us by following a snail mail pace in the era of supersonic speed.
To speed up its implementation Mr Bagchi has very rightly suggested constitution of an empowered authority comprising of experts of various disciplines and experience. A very holistic approach is needed if at all we intend to use this scheme as a means for improving the quality of life of our citizens.
Bhopal is blessed with expertise and experienced in-service and retired citizens of all sorts and citizens have high sense of belongingness to the City. The irony with all such developmental schemes has been that never people for whom the scheme or programme was meant were ever involved in the decision making and implementation process.
It is high time for a paradigm shift from the ‘hard’ approach of development where the entire responsibility used to be that of the government to the ‘soft’ approach where people for whom an activity is planned are also involved.
Combine this with the multidisciplinary team of experts and ignited young minds of the City and you will be able to see the miraculous change in the pace of implementation process.
Further there is an urgent need to reflect transparency of the system by following the Sri Lankan example (where in Colombo, a large blackboard in every municipal ward has been put up to show how municipal tax is progressing), by providing constant information to citizens through ‘information billboards’ informing how Mission activities are progressing in various parts of the City.
Dr Madhu Verma,
Environmental Economist and Professor, IIFM, Bhopal