Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Editorial, "KEEP OUR ROADS CLEAN AND GREEN," in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 July 2016, Vol. 12: Part 2, No. 14 issue


and statues- and obstacles- free as far as possible, with wide and beautiful junctions of refreshing greenery with blooming flowers and necessary side roads and comfortable pavements – that is the least we can demand and expect of any governance system. In this context the removal of the YSR statue at the entrance of a flyover in Vijayawada, a big traffic obstruction, is a welcome measure though this process has to be extended to remove/shift all such statues and memorials erected in supposed veneration of various personalities cutting across any parties – be those of Gandhi or Nehru or Ambedkar or even NTR, etc. Likewise all temples and mosques/dargas standing as traffic obstructions have to be removed/shifted to nearby/distant vacant places. Perhaps India is the only country which allows its road spaces to be made ugly and crammed by such encroachments and, even if such temples/mosques pre-date the roads, public interest requires that those be shown a respectful place ‘far from the madding crowds’. More important is providing safe side-roads wherever possible, and good pavements to walk invariably, for every road - pedestrians should have the first right to use the roads and not any other vehicles or machines. Further, at least at every 300 meters intervals free and clean public toilets have to be provided to the people and also all shops/hotels/institutions, public or private, etc. be compelled to keep clean and comfortable rest rooms for use by general public and paying for pissing should be totally eliminated. This money spinning culture has ruined our ethos and our environment. At least two to three decades back there were some public urinals on the roads however shabby and dirty they might be, but now all those are gone; and for women it had been and is always an ordeal. Whatever narrow pavements were there, those also removed or arrogantly encroached on. One feels like crying when walking on these roads, but what can ordinary people do? Judges, ministers, political leaders, bureaucrats rarely walk for their chores, they get air-conditioned cars with free fuel and other facilities, even helicopters at public cost, and further, adding insult to injury, blame the general public for dirtying the roads and environs! True, civic sense and culture is very less in our country, but that defect not limited to the ordinary people but extends to, or more so lies in, the elite. On all cross-roads instead of commercial complexes beautiful parks and wide parking spaces have to come up and has the great Hyderabad Municipal Corporation built any parking complexes after the lone initiative at Abids launched by NTR in the 1980s? Where there is a will there is a way, it is often asserted, and it is for all, whose will influences and matters, to quickly intervene and mend/end this dirty situation in our country.  §§§

No comments: