DailyPost 2536

Delhi has been built seven times. Lots of cities have geographically grown and some specific one grew vertically too. They gained pre-eminence in a variety of economic, tech and other activities and are today known all over for it. Every city has a distinct existence, that is where the life of a particular city is talked about, what it has to offer and it keeps growing on it. Delhi grew in a different way after becoming the capital and then an urban agglomerate finally the area was honorably christened as National Capital Region, NCR.

Bangalore went a different way, and today stands tall as the Indian Silicon Valley. Mumbai developed in its own way and contributes to the nation in is unique way and many other Indian cities have made a name for themselves. While there are different faces of Indian cities, by whatever they have to offer and city life and social and cultural milieu the provide, one face is common. That commonality is the cities are from a different, it’s face changes depending on the vagaries of the weather, or the lack of standard upkeep which should have become a very standard pattern by now.

The common thread running through the faces which the cities are forced to show to the world, it what we have created in the name of local self-government. Plush with the funds in the bigger cities, they have less to do city planning, upkeep and upgrade but run a system of administration totally not in the sync with the city of which they are guardians. The end result is total lack of standardization and uniformity from any angle. It has gone to an extent where the citizens have fully adapted themselves to the vagaries of city administration. Apathy thus is the real face of our cities. Even potholes cannot be managed. The false claims of monsoon readiness is another face of our cities.

Once it pours, it really shows. The maximum city as we call it, has faced the maximum of it. Sometimes the monsoon water flow at bus stops and railway stations can put some tributaries to shame. Bengaluru had put up a pathetic sight very recently. The other fascinating face each civic agency being on its own trip to dig a hurdle for you. Uncoordinated civic administration is another face, with citizens having no role to pay. It can reach to a battle level as we saw in the recent flood crisis in Delhi. The most fascinating of it all, is how we spruce our cities, for big events, sports extravaganza etc with spend and effort being monumental, to come back to the same shape yet again. From battling flood waters of man-made floods to transforming into wedding ready look waiting for the baraat to arrive are two diametrically opposite faces of Indian cities.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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