Indian Cities are in the news more now than
they have ever been before. Be it for their
contribution to the National GDP or for their
failure in providing basic civic and
infrastructure services to citizens – the arc
lights are currently on cities. Described often
as Rising Cities with Rickety Infrastructure and
basic services, our cities are being discussed
for reasons both good and bad.
While there is a lot of good that is
happening to our Indian cities in terms of
growth, visibility and International mindshare,
the bad news is that they are not able to live
up to the expectations of the citizens and
investors. The city governments are under
enormous pressure to keep pace and are failing
to provide adequate infrastructure and basic
services like water and sanitation. The urban
poor are the most affected.
Our cities, which have the potential to
contribute enormously to the nation, are
paradoxically victimized by their own growth!
The reality is they are not able to cope with
this rapid urbanization.
Cities have to address this deterioration of
services and build capacities to meet rising
demands and the citizen expectations. Low levels
of delivery of services such as water supply and
sanitation is a major constraint in realizing
the potential of cities.