The Siri Fort complex seems to be meeting a crucial need of the residents of South Delhi for a place to walk, play, swim and to engage with each other. It is well maintained, well managed and has succeeded in creating a sense of pride in those who use it regularly.
State governments have the principal responsibility for urban development. But in order to deliver, they can and should ensure that city governments are sufficiently empowered to get the job done. The state governments need to decentralise, devolve and empower the cities.
Vellore, with a population of five lakh, has been a trailblazer in decentralised management of solid waste and sending no waste to landfills. It has earned the remarkable distinction of getting its residents to separate wet waste from dry waste.
WtE plants in India burn mixed waste. The presence of chlorinated hydrocarbons like PVC results in the release of dioxins and furans when the waste is burnt at less than 850 degree C. Appropriate filtering mechanisms need to be installed to control such dangerous emissions.
Bengaluru waterbody, Jakkur, restored by a citizen’s initiative, now stands to be deprived of water by a power plant, raising questions about making environmentally sound practices economically viable.