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Civic sense - 21st June, 2008. Times Property (Times of India)

We need to change our own thinking if we expect change, but it’s time the government did its duty too

When you fly over Mumbai, that’s when you realise how small an island it is and look at our population! We are bursting as a city with no sign of stopping. If I just go by the job applications made only to our company from across the country and by NRI'S/PIO (Person of Indian Origin) candidates, it shows the interest in working and living in Mumbai.

To substantiate, I socially met a PIO who is the Chief Operating Officer of one the biggest international insurance companies in India. He was not born or raised here but is here now in Mumbai with his family; now that adds four more people and we warmly welcome them into our city.

Having more new companies or people is not a bad thing. It shows that we are in a strong economy and with more new companies coming in we are creating more job opportunities for our people across all sectors.

What keeps the property prices up is ‘us’, what keeps the population growing, is ‘us’, what creates traffic jams is ‘us’. We are the population and we are the traffic jam, if we are here in the city/country or if we are on the road. And I think it is all right! We are doing what we have to do to survive in this city and the government should do what it should be doing to make this city a better place to live in. At times I do agree with the municipality that we create a lot of waste and I think overall they are doing a fine job But it is sad that they wake up in the middle or end of May to start work on cleaning gutters, and also sad that a lot of roads do have manholes open and huge holes in the road with no warning signs and then they get all sensitive about the US consulate warning their citizens visiting/ living in Mumbai. I think the BMC should put out a warning for us too and to support what I am saying, I will be happy to take any municipal official to four such locations between Juhu and Versova alone, which have man holes, huge dug up holes in the middle or on the bend of roads. And the warning is a classic `stick' or a `tree branch' sticking out of it; almost as if 'Go Green' or 'Plant more trees' is the new warning for 'watch out there is a manhole.' Now we all know that if the chief minister or prime minister or any senior politician with his/her entourage was to drive through that very same road, everything would be taken care of overnight.

That is the sad part, it makes us, the tax payers, look so undeserving. It is obvious that it is not difficult to do what they have to do at times, but the political will or attitude is lacking.

I also think it is the lack of exposure that makes our politicians and civic officials so typical and boring. I actually commend 'Narayan Rane' for taking his clan on an international tour.

I will be happy to see the government use funds out of my 'tax paid money' for study tours on civic maintenance internationally or just an international trip to deserving politicians/ civic officials 'who work for the city and the country.' This will help them broaden their outlook and vision for the city and country.

I was also upset with media highlighting stories on honest IAS and police officers who have been allotted properties on government land and which they have in turn rented.

Now, let’s reason: are we trying to instigate honest officials (I can say that with confidence because I know most of those whose names were highlighted) who are truly serving the city.

Are we actually asking them to look at 'other avenues' to make money? I am happy to see them rewarded with a security of a home in the city and also to see them make clean rental money unlike what happens in the rest of the country.

I addressed these issues and topics because we have to change our thinking if we expect change.

It is we who give rise to corruption and it we who clog the drains. So let’s not just blame the government each time, although let us not spare them either when they neglect their duty towards us.

Quick BYTES
Mumbai is creating job opportunities for people across all sectors, encouraging people to want to move in
We are doing what we have to survive; now the government should do what it should to make the city a better place