1. Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

Apropos of “Infratweets;Smart cities get going” (February 3), it is strange that even as the national capital is unable to fund routine garbage disposal, talks of a slew of smart cities across India are flying around.

By: | Published: February 4, 2016 12:19 AM

PDP shouldn’t dither

Apropos of the report “Can’t move forward unless centre takes tangible CBMs: PDP” (FE, February 3), it goes without saying that instead of persistently searching for some politically convenient alibis, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti must rise to the occasion by going ahead with forming a new government in Jammu & Kashmir in alliance with the BJP, its old ally. One really wonders as to why she is not coming clear and is keeping all her cards close to her chest. Needless to say, her continued indecisiveness may cost not just the border state dearly but also the entire country very dearly. In all fairness, Mufti should leave her all fears about the sincere observance of CBMs by the BJP behind her, as status quo on the agreed agenda has so far largely been maintained. Further, the BJP leadership has also never ever questioned her taking over the reigns as the new CM in the best interest of the people here. So, what is the hitch? Perhaps, mutual trust is the key word in any alliance. So, either Mufti should either go for it whole-heartedly or just junk the alliance. Whatever be it, no dithering, please.

Kumar Gupt, Panchkula, Haryana

Smart cities

Apropos of “Infratweets;Smart cities get going” (February 3), it is strange that even as the national capital is unable to fund routine garbage disposal, talks of a slew of smart cities across India are flying around. Against an outlay of R10 lakh crore, worked out by Deloitte, for the smart cities initiative, the government is hesitant to even look at a tenth of that estimate and is vague on how the massive funding will be set about with a seed money of R500 crore per city, that too over five years. We are all too familiar with the fact that states spend nearly all revenue on salaries. Yet, it is difficult to understand how, overnight, the vote-seeking political class in these states—under whom the administrative mechanism must function—will transcend its raison de etre and acquire the professional purity to raise the required finances to deliver these cities. The need is for acumen to attract investors and businesses to make urbanisation a profitable venture in about ten years. This is not easy. Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, during a previous stint, lifted Hyderabad to smarter levels than its peers, only to lose politically, thanks to a yawning urban-rural divide in the state. Politics is subservient to survival and not idealism. Take Gurgaon, which has rocketed to being a super city from being a horde of villages. It may boast of premium real estate, but its lack of civic amenities such as a sewerage system, is well known. Builders have left the government holding the bin. Smart cities may be, but what about smart governance and the political sagacity that must go with it? Garbage is piling on Delhi’s streets, eighth day running.

R Narayanan, Ghaziabad

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