Multiple Mess

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featuressssThe urban chaos in Gurgaon is an indicator of everything wrong with Indian cities and their planning and administration. And to add to the mess is  the mess is millennium city’s  perchant for  multiple3 agencies all primed to usher in development, but which in reality, may well create hurdles to grow by working at cross purposes and problems of overlapping. This is happening even as a proposal to set up a singular authority is hanging fire for more than five years writes Madhusudan Sahoo

While Gurgaon  is  being  seen  as  a role  model  for  urban  development,  it  is  a  worrisome perspective  too with  the  existence  of a multitude  of  agencies  – all  working  for  enhancing development in Millennium City.

While government babus are all tight-lipped  about the recent  development  which  may well  create  a messy commotion  on  urbanisation,  a  question  arises  here: what  is urbanisation  if  it  is not about sustainability and planning  and a better quality of life? After all, Gurgaon cannot  serve  to be  an  example  of  money  spinning private real estate development that will be free from all principles and policies.

There  are  several  main  civic  agencies  in  Gurgaon.  The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), which caters to the needs of those living  in Old Gurgaon; the Haryana Urban  Development Authority  (HUDA)  for  the  sectors developed  by  it,  the town  and  country  planning  (TCP) department  for  the  localities  developed  by  private developers; and the district development and panchayat office that looks after the rural areas.

Confusion starts when  the  public works  department (building  and road)  claims  jurisdiction  of  select structures and  roads which are further divided between the HUDA and the MCG.

This is not a one-off confusion,  rather there are many in the system that has put the growth of development on hold for  years altogether.

12121There are lot many civic issues involved  in Gurgaon, such as  existing  inadequacies  in  the  water  supply,  poor sewage  system,  scarce  public  transport,  the  unmet demand for affordable housing are among them. Asked about such  issues,  senior government officials claim to not being responsible for the multiple issues,  rather they say  they are  designated  to  solve the  problems  only within their own peripheries.

“Although  every  agency  has  its owned  defined  role, HUDA  is  having developmental  role,  and  the town and country planning  (TCP)  is concerned with the planning part.  Local  level  officers  should  be assigned  more  role and  responsibil ity  for  better  coordination,”  said  PC Meena, administrator , HUDA.

Besides poor civic  infrastructure, Millennium City is also reported  to  have  experienced  clashes  of  interests  and frequent fights over jurisdiction. On top of it,  Gurgaon still does not  have  a  dedicated  agency  for  water distribution  and  the  essential  job  is  divided  among HUDA,  the  Commiserate,  MCG  and  the  private developers. The mandarins heading  these departments act  just as executors for the want of adequate powers to sanction  development  or  civic  jobs  as  all  crucial decisions-makers  sit at the Authority’s  headquarters  in Chandigarh.

There are lot civic issues involves in Gurgaon, such as existing inadeuacies in the water supply,poor sewage system, scarce public transport, the unmet demand for affordable housing are among few
Millenium City is also repoted to haveexperienced clashes of interests and frequent flights over juridiction.|
If india doesn’t get its act together on urbanisation, by 2030 the quality of urban services across cities will dip quite sharply.In particular, existing inadequacies in the water supply will increase by 3.5 times, and the unmet demand for affordable hpousing will touch 38 million people: Mckinsey

DSC_0469Although every agency has its owned defined role, HUDA is having developmental role, and the town and country planning department is concerned with the planning part. Local level officers should be assigned more role and responsibility for better co-ordination.
PC MEENA, Administrator , HUDA

Praveen Kumar, Municipal Commissioner, GurgaonNo single agency can uniformly solve all the problems. If there is an integrated agency perhaps things could have been better, but it could be equally worse. Whenever there is one authority, you have one man at the top, that person will suffer from lack of time to solve all the problems. Also Gurgaon is evolving, the demarcation is done. I think there is hardly any confusion, every department has a role to play. There is no conflict between the district development authorities, HUDA and us
PRAVEEN KUMAR, Commissioner, MCG

Not everyone agrees though.  “No single agency can uniformly  solve  all  the  problems.  If  there  is  an integrated  agency  perhaps things  could  have been better ,  but  it could be equally worse. Whenever there is  one  authority,  you  have one man  at the  top,  that person will  suffer  from  lack  of  time to  solve  all  the problems. Also Gurgaon is evolving, the demarcation is  done.  I  think there  is  hardly  any  confusion,  every department  has  a  role  to  play.  There  is no  conflict between  the district development authorities, HUDA and us, ” said Praveen Kumar , commissioner, MCG.

Even for a small purpose such as getting approval for a  building  plan  the file has  to be  routed to Chandigarh and that ends up delaying the projects.  If a  local  authority  has  to  clear  a  sanitation  proposal  beyond Rs50  lakh  it has to  be  approved  by the  brass sitting  in  the state capital.  If one wants to  transfer a plot  or  house  to  another , the  final  approval has  to come  from  the  director  of  town  planning  in Chandigarh.

A study by consulting firm McKinsey had said that if India doesn’t get  its act  together on urbanisation, by 2030,  the  quality of  urban  services across  cities will dip quite sharply.  In  particular ,  existing  inadequacies in  the  water  supply  will increase  by  3.5  times,  in sewage by 2 times,  in public transport by 3 times and the unmet demand for affordable housing will touch 38 million people.

As  for  Gurgaon,  the  issue of  floating  a  common development authority for the city has been hanging fire  for  over  five  years  as  the  incumbent  state government sat on it. Will the Millennium City get  a makeover  in all  aspects to  take the process  of urbanisation  to the  next  level?  There  are  no answers yet.