Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Delhi illegal buildings - sealing and so on ..

There is a drama that has been playing in Delhi for some time now. You see a city full to the brink, beset by incredible traffic problems, parking problems, and god knows what else. One could argue that the city is already suffering from a collapsing infrastructure; evidenced by power problems, water problems, transport problems, etc.
Delhi is currently an urban sprawl with a mix of commercial and residential establishments everywhere. Any place you go to, any locality you visit, you will see signs and boards every few meters proclaiming some commercial establishment. If you get really lucky, you will see some big shop or bank at the side of the road due to which there will be a number of vehicles jostling for inadequate parking, the perfect recipe for a traffic jam.
This growth of commercial places has been totally due to government apathy. The municipal corporation has the responsibility to ensure that residential areas retain their nature. A look around Delhi reveals the extent of their failure. Over a number of years, the common citizen has had to put up with incredible problems - problems of parking next to their homes, safety problems due to eateries and other such shops being open in residential areas attracting undesirable elements, and so on.
Imagine having a big popular shop next to your house, which is in a residential area and where you would be expecting peace. Instead there is commotion, lots of traffic, and other such things that are very far from a peaceful existence. One can forcefully argue that this situation affects the quality of one's life.The other angle to this is the law abiding shop-keeper who actually took a shop in a properly demarcated market. Such a shop-keeper would feel that he made a mistake by doing the right thing, and one would be assured that the next time he has to setup something, he would just go ahead and set it up a in a residential colony next to his consumers. No more doing the right thing.
And the worst thing of all, the courts are seized of the illegal nature of these commercial establishments and are trying to enforce the rule of law. And who is opposing them, it is our own elected representatives. The number of measures taken by the politicians to try and overturn the efforts of the courts brings shame to our eyes. The politicians who should be supporting the rights of normal citizens are instead fighting tooth and nail to ensure that this illegality continues. They must be really facing the heat from the traders who must have threatened to cut off their funds and this is something that must be really pinching to the politicians.
What can we do ? We should raise our voices to ensure that the efforts of the court to enfore the rule of law should continue and the intentions of the politicians do not succeed.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 11:17 AM