Pune mayor exclusively for HT: Let’s make Pune not only liveable but also resilient and sustainable

According to me, an ideal city is one which is a women-centric and women–friendly society.

pune Updated: Jul 01, 2018 14:54 IST
Pune,Mukta Tilak
Mukta Tilak, Pune mayor

Pune is recognised as the cultural capital of Maharashtra as well as the educational hub of India. Years ago it was identified as a ‘Pensioner’s Paradise’. But now it has created its identity as an IT hub. The young generation across the country gives first priority to settling down in Pune as Pune is the ideal place to dwell.

Nowadays the boundaries of Pune city are stretching far and wide. The city is expanding in all four directions and every day a new challenge is set in front of us. It is truly a difficult task for all of us to cope up with all the challenges and move ahead towards the progress of the city.

Being the first person of Pune city, it is my responsibility to think and plan about the development of the city. According to me, the progress of the city depends upon the infrastructure present in the city. One of the precious things Pune has is its pleasant weather. It still has reasonably good weather and therefore, youngsters as well as the aged prefer to live in Pune.

It is an ideal place to live as it is geographically suitable for a healthy life as well as it is enriched in a variety of flora and fauna. The forts and dams around the Pune city add to the beauty of the city.

I think everyone should analyse ‘SWOT’ while studying a city. SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats.

Strength of Pune city: The structure of this city is like a saucer and that’s what it looks like from an aerial view. It is surrounded with mountains and hills from all the sides and a river named ‘Mutha’ flows through the city. As a result of the city’s expansion, it has been connected to a number of nearby villages.

The vast stretch of the city is one of its strengths. Very few cities have varied hill slopes and mountains around them. We being the peoples’ representatives in the Pune municipal corporation (PMC), the municipal corporation should take care of the mountains and hill slopes. We should preserve them. This will support our ecosystem and help to balance the ecology. We should take preventive measures against constructions on hill tops and hill slopes. We should protect the environment and raise the ‘Green Mark’ of the city.

We have a plan ready to save our river Mutha from pollution and are planning to restore the beauty of this river in the next five years. Various recreational activities are in the pipeline to restore the beauty of the river banks and the Mutha.

Weakness: I think insufficient transport system is one of the weaknesses of this city. We need to accept integrated transport policy to improve the transportation system of the city. It will definitely bring co-ordination in transportation. The Metro / BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) will be in use sooner than expected, but if we have to bring control over private vehicles which cause a lot of trouble in transportation then we should introduce stringent parking norms. We are trying to make available parking plots through the parking policy and this will be done soon with proper care and caution.

Opportunities: Pune has a historical as well as cultural heritage. Education and Technology will help us with innovative ideas to improve the life of the people. In the next few years more emphasis should be given to setting up a huge network of the science and technology institutions in the city which will help uplift the standard of life of the people.

We will definitely seize many opportunities for development with the help of the Central and State governments. Now that the ‘Development Plan’ of the city has been sanctioned, we should take the opportunity to implement the planned development of the city.

Threats faced by the city

Pune is growing day by day; the number of those wanting to settle in Pune is rising and the city is trying to provide basic infrastructure. This has now become a big challenge in front of all of us. Because of the growing population there is a shortage of natural resources and this is causing a strain on all the services which are being provided to the people through the PMC. It is really hard for us to provide amenities to all of them and this is creating a systemic hindrance. Ultimately this will affect the developmental works in the city. The better the quality of the services in the city, the larger will be the number to the migrants to the city, and finally this will add up to the cost of living. For better lifestyle and better services, people will have to pay more. One more disadvantage of this migration is that it may lead to communal riots which could bring instability in society.

According to me, an ideal city is one which is a women-centric and women–friendly society.

Today we see that a lot of work needs to be done for women in the fields of education, health, security and empowerment . We find a high drop-out rate of young girls in middle school and necessary measures have to be taken on these fronts.

Development for enhancement of women’s entrepreneurial skills and giving them economic freedom should be the idea of development . Going further, the empowered youth has become the necessity of the times. We should pay more attention to community health. It will take long-term efforts to create awareness among the women living in the slum areas about cleanliness, hygiene and solid waste management.

We should concentrate on all these issues to create better opportunities in the city which will be helpful in creating basic facilities to the citizens.

My idea and vision behind this, is to make my city not only livable but resilent, sustainable and creative too.

First Published: Jul 01, 2018 14:53 IST