MCD Polls Over, Delhiites Now Want 5 Urgent Fixes
While people of Delhi seem to have voted for change in the recently concluded municipal corporation elections, there is only one request that residents from across the national territory expect: they want newly elected members to improve the livability quotient of their respective areas. Here are five urgent fixes that the city needs:
Solid waste management
Delhi is just not fit to handle rains. Every year, even below-average rains lead to spreading of diseases such as chikungunya and dengue in the national capital. But it is not the rains that do the damage. It is the household garbage dumped into streets that give birth to such seasonal diseases. According to the New Delhi Municipal Corporation's website, sanitation workers have been assigned the following tasks:
|Cleaning of roads and streets||Monday to Saturday during summer between 6.30am and 2.30 pm and 7 am to 3 pm during winter in respect of all areas. Also, the department is carrying out evening and night sweeping in the commercial areas by deploying an adequate number of workers. Skeleton services are also on Sundays and holidays.|
|Collection and removal of garbage from municipal rubbish bins||Every day between 7.00 am and 2.00 pm and in evening and night hours|
|Collection/removal of garbage from designated collection points only on receipt of complaint of non-lifting||Within one hour of complaint|
However, about 50,000 sanitation workers went on protest strike, five times in two years, over untimely payment of their salaries. This caused much trouble to residents of even upscale neighbourhoods.
On the other hand, existing dump sites at Ghazipur, Bhalaswa and Okhla do not have the capacity to handle the amount of garbage that is produced every day. What's worse? For a city that anyway has a land crunch, over 9,000 metric tonnes of garbage released every day in these landfill sites have made housing near these sites unpopular.
At this juncture, it is imperative to note that people of Delhi have serious concerns about the state of sanitation, and the new corporaters must tirelessly act to improve things in this regards.
The bad road
A city is as good as its roads are. Therefore, the authorities should quicken the pace to better the state of roads and parking in Delhi. One of the main problems leading to the inefficacy of the municipal bodies is the fact that some functions of the corporation and the government overlap. For example, in Delhi, most roads over 60-foot width are under the Delhi government jurisdiction while those narrower are under the corporation. Providing licences to bigger vehicles is also under the state government's jurisdiction. Hence, at some point, there could be an overlap and overlook situation.
Inner roads at Trilokpuri, Chandni Chowk and Dallupura among others are in a mess leading to traffic overhauls. Most repair works lead to an ample amount of digging, wrecking and thereafter a very delayed attempt to mend.
The smart fix
The NDMC set a target for itself in 2016-17 to make the city a smarter place. For this purpose, a slew of measures was considered, including smart parking option and other facilities that would have improved urban mobility. Although some of them have been initiated, the smart agenda needs to be pushed further.
A sign of relief
People of Delhi appreciate open gymnasiums and other features introduced by certain municipal corporations. In fact, the NDMC has installed almost 35 outdoor gyms in public parks at Lodhi Garden and Nehru Park etc. Although the project has been transferred to the civil engineering department, Delhi would love to see the NDMC taking up such initiatives in future.
In 2016, the NDMC's mobile applications called NDMC 311 met considerable success and claimed to have resolved close to 1,600 complaints within a month. The app could also ensure that real-time information could be passed on to residents with respect to traffic, Metro stations, toilets, taxi stands, petrol pumps, monuments with just a click. The online building approval and management system also went online since June 2016. So far so good. Under the NDMC Budget estimates for the year 2017-18, funds have been estimated for simplifying e-services and for online management of unauthorised homes in Delhi. Once successful, could be a big win for NDMC.
Besides, the NDMC looks into MCD hospitals, manages water supply, maintenance of markets, oversees construction, street lighting, MCD schools, recovers taxes, operates toll taxes, birth and death records and runs cremation grounds. Any upgrade in its facilities will be received cheerfully.