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We must meet plan deadlines

mumbai Updated: Oct 19, 2010 00:55 IST

Creating infrastructure is a time-consuming process. It cannot match pace of growth we are witnessing.

In developed countries, infrastructure, such as roads and water supply, is developed first. Only then is construction allowed in the locality. This is never done here, as was evident in cases such as Thakur Village at Kandivli and Malvani in Malad.

The problem is not in planning, but in implementation of the plans. Our Development Plan, a blueprint of civic amenities and commercial zones, has been a major failure as only 12 per cent of it has been implemented so far. This shows a disconnect between planning and implementation.

Residents of areas with unprecedented growth face problems such as water cuts or pipeline leaks at the start. The situation gets worse with time.

It reminds me of the story of the frog who jumps out if thrown in warm water, but if kept in cold water that is gradually heated feels as if the entire atmosphere is warming and takes no corrective action. Eventually, the frog dies.

Residents of localities witnessing a real estate boom will also face a gradual escalation of their problems if nothing is done about them now.

The time has come not just for planning, but honest implementation of the plans. Look at China. If a six-month deadline has been set for a civic project, it is always met. Here, the six months will go in resolving legal and rehabilitation issues. Pankaj Joshi is the executive director, Urban Design Research Institute