Editorial | Thinking long term

For a long time now our state is ridden with crises. Not just one, we are actually facing the difficult times in many respects. And this is not the case only now, but has been so for many decades. All this has cumulatively resulted in huge damage to the foundations of governance. One can immediately understand it by having a cursory look at the slowed down, and faulty, development. Even if someone approaches superficially the subject of how the place is developing, and how the infrastructure is raised, would make this point amply clear. There is a kind of disregard towards what we require in long term; this has made us vulnerable in more than one way. To understand it just take the example of traffic management.

No one can say that the departments assigned with the task of maintaining and upgrading our roads, and those who take care of the traffic are doing nothing. The people responsible, particularly the filed staff, are doing their bit. Their work must be acknowledged. But this is only one side of the picture. What we miss is a long term planning, and a matching action on the ground. What would be the status of our roads, say 10 or 20 years down the line; what kind of challenges would surface up; how will new forms of transportation, and expansions in our markets affect the whole thing; do we think this way? If we don’t how can we plan accordingly. The result is that our problems pile up despite the departments trying hard to manage it all smoothly. One good thing to do would be to study any city that matches Srinagar, or Jammu, in population profile, road network, business activity, and the cartography of the commercial, residential and government infrastructure. We can make a scientific study of such a city, and then applying it to our long tern problems. This can contribute a lot in making our future planning workable and efficient. Similarly there are other sectors of development and governance where such comparative studies can immensely help.