Thursday, June 8, 2017

Random Thoughts_June 2017

Mayor and Waterlogging in Kochi

Since the monsoon started, many parts of Kochi city is flooded. As usual, the blame game started; between the political parties, among the counsellors and between and among government agencies. Many say it is the failure of the Mayor and she, in turn, blames many other agencies. Both the parties are right and wrong in their arguments at the same time. It shows the lack of power and authority that a mayor and council should enjoy in a city metropolis. Does she enjoy the rights to hire and fire in order to make the system accountable? What we want is a Mayor of executive power and one who is directly elected to the post. When a Mayor is sidelined by DMRC or KMRL or Mobility Hub or PWD or KWA or KSEB, it is not going to do for the city development. The purpose and objective of the operations of these entities in the city limits should be under the direct control of the Mayor. The immediate trust of the citizens and the transparency of the state could be envisioned in a powerful Mayor and not with bureaucrats affiliated to a different system other than the corporation. The long-term success and sustenance of Smart City also depend on the reform in the local government administration giving more power and teeth to the Mayor. Unfortunately, the Smart City Mission initiated by GoI has also overlooked this aspect.

The World Environment Day

All the morning newspapers are brimmed with the Advt given by the Kerala government regarding the planting of 1 crore trees today. in fact, this is the continuation of the advertisement glitterati carried by the government fo the last few weeks. I was wondering how much they have spent for planting a tree. This has also got a past link where the governments of the day kept on the ritual of planting trees every year on World Environment days In the last ten years, they have planted millions of trees that would have converted the state into the wild forest. But nothing happened. I don't think the situation is going to be different this time. Instead, they should have used the money that they spent for advertisements and the local paraphernalia for buying acres of land together and fostering forest there. A focused attempt will help than a scattered one. Money could have also used to encourage the entrepreneurs to sustainable forestry projects.