What is more difficult – to build or to maintain?

What is more difficult – to build or to maintain?

Development should be beyond just adding; it should involve creating smartly and wisely

Social media has constricted the happenings of the world handy. Video blogs have stormed social media networks and are putting an impact in varied forms. A person, who could not visit beyond his region, is witnessing the culture, the level of development, etc, not just of other places, but of the countries situated miles and miles away.
Recently, I came across some videos on one social media networking site, wherein each vlogger was trying to awaken in his followers the ethics of how people use the foot pavements and zebra crossing in foreign countries and how the drivers take care of pedestrians near such crossing areas. What was surprising was the level of cleanliness of the roads and the spaces around that was reflected via such videos.
Not all projects need to be initiated with the purpose of revenue generation in order to take additional care of such projects, all because if their implementation is inhibited in lieu of getting the least means to create such viable revenue models, then their non-implementation might bring losses bigger than what could have been actually gained from them.
A few days back, while travelling on one busy route of Srinagar City to my utter surprise I felt as if I had an adventure trip. The footpath was so irregular and incoherent that on walking a few steps the pavements would come to a sudden end, as there were frequent cuts to it for entries to houses and other business establishments. The ugliness of the stretches gets coupled with space being occupied by poles, concertina wires and many open drainage pits. To continue the journey via such pavements one seems performing up-down, left-right-left exercises and the stretches turn so inharmonious that paths get a lookalike of meanders.
Even if all the routes get streamlined someday, yet without better cleanliness around, the purpose of real development shall remain unfulfilled. The climate of this region is doing us many favors. Otherwise, the waste that we have amassed in various public spaces won’t let us even sleep well. Our many roadsides have turned into open dustbins. The mesh greenery around is getting covered with the daily based waste. Who, how and wherefrom has all that got accumulated there? The answer is simple – “we”!
The quality of roads (which includes the kind of footpaths, streetlights, zebra crossing, facilities for specially-abled ones, etc.) and above all the cleanliness on and around the edges of the roads are the primary attractions, and first on-site information to any stranger visiting that place, thus giving an overview about the kind of development and ethics of people of that region. We know very well where we will stand if there will be indexing on these parameters!
There is a common saying; it is not tough to buy a car, but it is its daily maintenance that makes it a tough commodity. It gets applied to our areas of public domains as well – roads, parks, hospitals, bus stands, schools, wetlands, waste management, etc.
It is easier to create all of them, as the only prerequisite is – a one-time effort and sufficient budget, but letting them last for years and decades qualitatively, requires scheduled timely checks and additional resource allotment.
Development is always inclusive. It is an interlinking of various departments together. It should be beyond just adding. For creating a small and simple pavement, a combined role of many departments is needed – “if only R& B plays a part, we might get a pavement, but what if there was a drain to be built underneath that comes under the control of municipalities, or what if an electric line was to be set that lies with PDD or what if environmental-friendly and decorative plants were to be planted which fall under the jurisdiction of Forest/ Floriculture Department or what if drinking water points were to be installed that fall under PHE Department and so on”. It simply means the absence of, one or more, such departments in this interdependent chain might always lead to an unending cycle of construction and demolition.
One might have passed through many of the important roads of the city, which are wide enough to hold a large capacity of traffic, but would have observed the emergence of a highly narrow stretch on such roads suddenly at some spots, thus creating chaos of the entire traffic system. Many of us would’ve seen multiple times, ambulances getting stuck at such kind of narrow spots, leading to a diminishing of the essence of ambulance services, and provoking discrediting, of the worth of such roads in public opinion.
Many people want to contribute, but the basic facilities are not available. So awareness, suggestions, and emphasizing people to obey rules, etc. are all secondary and the primary demand is creating an inclusive basic infrastructural setup.
The only secret that might lead to creating not only better cities, but also better towns and villages here someday, is by way of working today smartly and wisely, and by involving all the respective departments as well as the people en masse.

Author can be reached at [email protected]

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