For some time now we have been hearing about smart city project. Both the premier cities of J&K are slated to be covered under the project of turning a vast number of cities in Indian to smart mode.
One can only wish that the two cities turned into models in this regard and all the subservient projects and processes that are to be unrolled as envisioned in the smart city scheme were fulfilled in time and with a commitment to detail.
. In the same scheme of things the last we heard from the LG is the emphasis on making the two cities eco-friendly, especially in the context of making them Polythene free. These are good signals and should be received with a spirit of belonging towards our city. An important ingredient of the whole thing that was highlighted by the LG is worth deliberating upon. And that is the responsibility of the people to ensure that the city became eco-friendly. True, that governments around the world can take up projects, lay rules, and initiate processes to ensure environmental safety, but unless people cooperate, and put in their bit, no such initiative can produce desired results. Now take the case of our water-bodies. The rules are in place. The schemes to clean the water bodies, and ensure their upkeep have also been rolled out time to time. But the status of these water bodies is for all of us to see. They are diminishing, and disappearing fast. Take another example: polythene. When the government makes its intent clear that polythene needs to be eradicated form city space, does it go away with that. Not at all. Unless people share responsibility. And work hard to restore environment around them, no change can happen. The question of people’s responsibility, nevertheless, needs to be made part of our education. Our children need to be sensitised towards the burning questioning related to environmental degradation. But most importantly, and before everything else, people need to be made part of the decision making processes. If the plans are drafted in isolation, and with an underlying disregard for people, no bureaucracy can succeed in accomplishing what it claims to do.