Only half-way to prosperity?

Delhi

Only half-way to prosperity?

Is our City truly on the path to prosperity like its global counterparts? Not if you believe a recent UN report. In a study which looks at 95 world cities, India’s Delhi features at 58th position, a little ahead of Dhaka and Kathmandu!

Though the report ackno­w­l­edges that Delhi is moving towards prosperity, it maintains it is just about ‘half-way’ there. 

Observed on parameters of infrastructure, productivity, quality of life, environment stability and equality, Delhi lags even behind Mumbai at 52nd place. The report states that both cities are at medium level of prosperity, measured not only on economic basis but also includes infrastru­c­ture and quality of life. Plus, both metros have been penal­i­sed for poor environment conditions, specially Delhi.

Metrolife speaks to environmentalists and town planners to figure out what it would take for our City to figure at the top. “The biggest problem with Delhi is the traffic and growth in the number of vehicles. Government is taking an initiative to improve green cover and reduce gas emission but efforts seem to fall flat,” says Dr Suneel Pandey, environment specialist at TERI.

Since Delhi has been rated poor in terms of environment stability, it is an indicator of the adverse consequences of poorly thought-out developm­e­nt. “To achieve better environment, the government has to work towards a more effective public transport system. It has failed to move private vehicle owners to other modes of transport,” he explains.

More vehicles means mobility issues, which too, has never been taken seriously by policy  makers. “No,” says SP Singh, member Indian Foundation Transport Research and Training (IFTRT). “Mobility along with proper development of infrastructure was never taken seriously. Vehicular movement comes under well-planned infrastructure.

When the City was expanding, the planners did not take care of it. They were more inclined towards employment generation. Even now, there is no planning for the coming 20-30 years either. The situation will become grave,” he opines.

TK Sarkar, Dean, School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) believes that departments contributing to overall infrastructure should come together for better development related projects. “Though master plans of Delhi have been made from 1961 onwards, the government has failed to keep pace with these planned projects.

“Slums will always remain a major  roadblock. Secondly, migration has to be taken care of, to maintain quality of life,” says Sarkar.Looks like Delhi has a long way to go yet!

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