Mumbai, Delhi, NCR, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai (Metro-I), Jaipur, Pune, Ahmadabad, Mysore, Lucknow, Kanpur, Kota, NOIDA, Faridabad, Gaziabad, Nagpur, Bhilwara, Gurugram, Vishakhapattnam (Metro-II) are key cities which generate more than 80% of Revenue for the Govt of India and respective State Govts.
In past 25 yrs, these cities have seen population inflow to the tune of over 30-40% giving substantial boost to economy of India and respective states. These cities are contributing highest Income Tax and GST (CGST, SGST, VAT, Stamp Duty, Property Registration charges etc).
Unfortunately, every year during monsoon these are the cities which come to stand still several times due to poor drainage system, during winters these cities come to stand still several times due to smog, during summers these are cities which suffer severe shortage of drinking water and sanitization. These problems not only make life difficult for the citizens who are earners for the nation but also make them vulnerable to all kinds of epidemics & viral infections etc.
As the revenue collections of past GOI have always been beyond the targets, they have never felt need for revamping & ramping up basic infra in these cities as loss of days during Monsoon, Winters, Summers haven’t effected substantially to the Govt revenue collections. Therefore, every season the misery is blamed to congestion in the cities causing overloading on the basic infra and the story ends with media cry, people cry and political blame games. Till date neither any state govt nor GOI have come out with any concrete plan to mitigating these risks which are growing like CORONA.
Before, my apprehensions come true of drastic fall in Revenue need vs Collections and also these cities are declared dangerous to stay for unsafe infrastructure or prohibited for anymore population inflow for desired infrastructure ; I have following to suggest as Outline of a prospective Plan for Govt of India and State Govts to consider :
a. Following Infra facilities and facilitation must come under portfolio of Govt of India :
1. Road Infra
2. Public Transportation (Rail, Road, Water)
4. Drinking Water Management
5. Rain Water harvesting
6. Electricity distribution
7. Public Health, Birth & Seasonal Vaccination System
8. Garbage Management & Sanitization
9. Flood Management
10. Pollution management
11. Disaster Management
12. Law & Order, Justice and Police
b. Eligibility & Governance : Its a critical & highly political issue but need deft & conclusive decision making by Govt at the Center. The Issues involved are as under :
i. City having population of 5 million and above and /or
ii. Revenue generation of certain number , whichever is earlier
iii. GOI Appointed LG and its bureaucratic team of Civil Servants (All India Services officers (Direct entry officers from IAS & equivalents, Group A officers, Group B Officers and Deputation from PSUs)
iv. There should be automated system of survey of all the Cities every 5 yrs for joining this category of City, without any need of any legislative concurrence.
v. If State Capital comes under this Category, State Administration will continue from the City.
c. As Model of this System I would like to discuss Mumbai under following points :
i. Better quality of roads & new strategic design of road Infra needed
ii. Drainage system need to be deep underground releasing drain water towards Navi Mumbai/Ali baug side of Sea.
iii. Robust Rain Water harvesting system need to be developed quickly transfer rain water towards Navi Mumbai/Ali baug end into Water reservoirs for use of irrigation and sanitization etc.
iv. Drinking water reservoirs need to be built with atleast plan for population influx of 50 yrs ahead with underground water lines.
v. Road repair should be done by reconstruction of road than re-carpeting as this raises level of ground causing situation of water collection/flood.
vi. Enough logistic & supply chain to make basic daily need commodity i.e Milk, Vegetables, Fruits, Grains & Cereal.
v. Connecting two places of the City by more than 3 routes without travelling extra so that in case emergency city dont come to stand still.
vi. Approval for Infra Projects only based on availability of basic amenities.
The write up offers only an outline of Conceptual Model which can be developed further by expertise of the domain. But the Govt of India need to act swiftly and make sure key cities continue earning revenue for the nation by not coming to stand still for want of robust basic infra.