Kaalaa akshar bhai.ns baraabar?I'm sure Punekars would agree that the last 12 months have probably been the worst in terms of civic life in recent memory. Three essentials went bust at some point or other: water, electricity and roads [in case of the latter, well, the old joke about astronauts practising Moonwalks is still applicable].
What are the reasons? I don't know for sure. But I'd guess that it'd include "more people", "more vehicles" and "more blinkers". Tell me this: how can a civic body sanction three multi-storeyed buildings on a road like Senapati Bapat road which is sure to add about 1000 daily users to that area (they're mainly commercial/office complexes). The road is already saturated, so unless they're building subways or have a chopper service, I don't know how even a worm can move on that road. The head hurts just thinking about it.
My question is: how deep buried in the sands of neglect and internecine politics can civic bodies be to not notice similar signs in other cities and in their own? Has anybody tried to study the effects of extreme chronic water shortage in Madras, of power cuts and road problems in Bangalore and elsewhere? Heck, it was hard to figure out that all the excavation along University Road was for a flyover and not for T-Rex remains - not even a board came up (atleast the ones in Mumnbai had the courtesy to apologise, whatever little comfort that was).
So why not consider introducing CNG (or whatever alternative) following the lead of Delhi>? Why wait for the problem to get out of hand before making silly short-term panacea measures.
I'm really keen to see what happens in a place like Bangalore - but will Pune learn from anything that happens there? Frankly, Pune's just been exposed as a bit of an upstart, a one-hit wonder whose feted climate has been crippled by the pollution, whose roads have dissolved into gravel at the first downpour and never had any width to begin with to handle the explosion, and whose civic fathers are from one of those mawwkish TV serials where all they can do is abandon their responsibilities.
Is this even a price to consider paying for being an IT hub?