Can’t smart cities of future be ruled by old cronies in new forms?


The generations that will come next will evaluate and experience real development, currently it sounds like all policies and promos are directed to inject a positive-hype among vulnerable masses so the grounds to justify corruption becomes more smarter. India was always in a frenzy of construction, where are the new millionaires coming from otherwise? IT is just a mask or is it samudra manthan – Churning of the Ocean! It’s one thing to say we are a tolerant society, and just another to hear cronies preaching and chanting like RamRahim mahatmas.

We are building at a massive pace, but are still not there yet: more than 60% of the buildings & infra projects that will stand in India in 2030 are yet to be built. And how we choose to design and build these and live in them can have a profound impact on our resource use, climate, oppressed social classes, ideologies and environment. What are the tenets of a green building? Fancy conferences everywhere reiterate that building smart cities essentially means building livable cities. Our Governments also agree to create world-class infrastructure that India badly needs to accelerate growth and meet people’s basic needs. So what, if this boom benefits its own construction lobby to suck consumers. (Oct 5, 2014)

It will always be discussed during other usual uprisings that India also needs appropriate non-corrupt norms to benchmark natural resources use, minimize waste, recover looted resources from powerful cronies, stop price manipulation by builder and landlord cartels, develop monitoring and compliance strategies that benefits the bottom of society. Processes need to be reinvented and integrated with the building approval process and urban planning to get better results and to make cities worth living in. The green rating system needs transparency, accountability and stringent compliance and monitoring. Also the problem of under performance after construction needs to be addressed immediately with effective official monitoring and penalty, else it can legitimize massive resource inefficiency in the new built up area.

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