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'Integrate villages with urban areas'

The tyranny of insensitive society and residents is more oppressive than the tyranny of insensitive political leaders and bureaucrats.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2011 01:35 IST
Prem K Sabhlok

The tyranny of insensitive society and residents is more oppressive than the tyranny of insensitive political leaders and bureaucrats. Residents should decide how Gurgaon can progress. After my retirement from the Ministry of Defence in 1990, we shifted to Palam Vihar and found reasonably good living conditions. Infrastructure, civic amenities, water supply and electricity were in well-maintained.

But over the years politicians and bureaucrats fed Gurgaon with false promises, and the city deteriorated. For the last two decades Gurgaon has been heading towards an urban nightmare, with filth and garbage strewn all over, overflowing storm water drains and potholes, among other woes. If there was a Nobel Prize for Urban Nightmare, Gurgaon would easily bag it.

The 'millennium city' feel has disappeared. Of late, water level has dropped below 350feet, and you get water mixed with acid even at that depth. More canals should have been built. Most lakes and similar water bodies have been destroyed by developers for commercial reasons, while the administration is hand-in-glove with the former.

Villages should be integrated with the 'new' Gurgaon, instead of demeaning them by calling Old Gurgaon. There is only one Gurgaon.

The world has been hearing the wrong news about Gurgaon. Property developers have cut off entire villages. Some developers, along with government officials, use non-commercial community halls as profit-making restaurants and clubs, while residents watch helplessly. Bureaucrats also openly show their pro-developers sentiments.

Some colonies, which were to be completed in two years, have not been built for 30 years. In November 2010, the Supreme Court had directed some developers to hand over delayed colonies to HUDA or MCG by May 2011. But nothing happened. Several civic projects have been delayed in Palam Vihar.

A perfect solution of a single high-powered nodal agency like the Gurgaon Planning and Development Authority (GPDA) was not accepted by the authorities for unknown reasons. Perhaps, Gurgaon is a goose that lays golden eggs, and creating the GPDA would deprive corrupt authorities of their 'share'.

The writer is general secretary, Joint Action Forum of RWAs.