Time to pull up socks

According to a recent press report, during a recent trip to Delhi, CM H.D.K called on Union Minister for Urban Development S. Jaipal Reddy & requested him to release funds for infrastructure projects that were pending approval under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Chastised by an earlier rejection, the government had reduced the funds requested out of the same.

Bangalore had asked for and was to get Rs. 509 crore from the centre (with the State pitching in as well) for various projects of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike( streamling drainage, building of grade separators etc), Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board ( restructuring sewerage system, providing bulk flow metering systems etc) the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and The Karnataka Slum Clearance Board.

You might think why am I raking this issue?

A latest study by ECA International reveals the connection between economic development & infrastructural strengths that have helped five major Indian cities — Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata — move up on their global rankings in terms of living standards. The survey has compared living standards in 254 locations globally according to categories including climate, air quality, health services, housing and utilities, isolation, social network and leisure facilities, infrastructure, personal safety and political tensions.

While Singapore has emerged as the best place in the world to live in, Chennai has emerged as the topper among Indian cities ahead of three other metros as well as Bangalore. The second slot within India is bagged by IT city, Bangalore with ranking showing significant improvement to 150 from earlier level of 179.

Termed as the financial capital of the country Mumbai has been assigned the third rank with the global ranking pegged at 158 as compared to 183. New Delhi followed Mumbai with the global ranking of 174. However, ranking in case of New Delhi improved substantially from the earlier level of 217 to 174, up 43 notch. So much for the heavy spending on sprucing up infrastructure, thanks to it hosting the Commonwealth Games soon.

The lowest ranking has been accorded to Kolkata, which showed marginal improvement in terms of ranking as it moved from 201 to 196 this time in terms of global ranking and thus, slipping to the last position among the cities in the country. Too many fires are burning, methinks, in WB.

As a result of the survey, multinational companies will find it easier to encourage their internationally mobile employees to undertake assignments in these locations and recommending lower ‘hardship’ allowance particularly in case of some locations in China and India. Overall, the survey will help companies make assignments in the region more cost effective, helping Asia to maintain a competitive edge.

So, if our city administrators are thinking of benchmarking our city anywhere near global standards, its time to pull up their socks quickly and bridge the chasm(s) in infrastructure deficiencies, for one.

I wonder if there is anyway in which we can make them redundant…….


2 Comments so far

  1. tarlesubba (unregistered) on March 16th, 2007 @ 6:05 pm

    #1. i like the way you put it – benchmark against the best. (in colloqial kaNNada that would be bengLoor singapoor)

    #2. could you elaborate on this: ‘I wonder if there is anyway in which we can make them redundant’

    do you want to city administration redundant, or do you want to make the essential city adminstration insensitive to the taste and personality of its leaadership or did you have something else in mind?

  2. Ravi (unregistered) on March 16th, 2007 @ 6:08 pm

    Thanks for your comment, TS avare! That was a sly dig at our administrators aka politicians. If we can bring in enough systemic changes, we can get rid of them. The system can run much better with professionals. Radical thought, you will agree?

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