Urbanization is inevitable. And in a developing country like India that is wholeheartedly embracing western culture, the urban wave is coming in its full swing. However, the infrastructure of India is not able to match this boom. In a developing economy, there should be a balance between demand and supply. Though every other industry is able to maintain a satisfactory balance, infrastructure lags behind.
Infrastructure along with utilities like sanitation, power supply, water supply, sewerage and electricity must be in sync with the growing needs of urban India. Lack of efficient infrastructure to support the burgeoning population is the one of the most serious challenges faced by the ‘Urbanized India’. So, it is high time for India to realize how it can improve its state of physical and social infrastructure.
India needs to improve on four indispensable fronts-
1- Affordable Homes
As soon as people move into an urban area, their first need is a roof over the head. Though developers are doing their part by offering affordable homes in different forms, real estate is not yet affordable for everyone. This is why slums and informal housing galore, even in the metropolitan cities. Government is taking important steps in the direction of budget housing options for lower middle class, but there is a large percentage of our population who cannot afford ‘affordable’ homes. It is important to cater to those people as well, and provide accommodations where they can live safely and hygienically.
2- Uninterrupted Power Supply
India needs to be serious about its electricity issues. While many of the developing nations have already attained the status where they can offer uninterrupted power supply, India still lags far behind. And we are not talking about the towns or villages, even developed areas like Noida and Delhi see frequent power cuts. The reason is pretty obvious- India is not able to generate enough electricity per head. Low voltage also increases pressure on transformers and has negative effect on the functioning of important equipment. The electricity department has to go hand-in-hand with the increasing population. When this demand-supply balance is maintained, power cuts will be vanished from India.
3- Access to Clean Drinking Water
The population explosion has put tremendous pressure on planned water resources in India. One of the problems is that our country has limited sources of replenishable water. Along with the household needs, India also needs water for irrigation and other purposes. In urban areas, there has been over-privatization of water supply as government sources are falling short. We should start on the local level; local-partnerships can go a long way fixing water issues. Water credit should let people address their own water needs on a local level. Bihar, MP, UP and Rajasthan are among the cities that suffer from acute water shortage. Major steps need to be taken in this direction.
4- Waste Management System
It is really a disgrace that the mega cities of India are literally drowned in their own sewage and garbage. 40,000 million liters of sewage comes out on cities on daily basis and barely 20% of it is treated. The rest either pollutes the soil or is mixed with water resources. Our state of sewage management is so grim that some call it a ticking health bomb. It is a matter of serious concern as it is polluting the groundwater and soil. We need to find ways of generating our own electricity from waste. Provisions have been made to treat solid waste. More improvement is needed on this front.
Once India achieves success on these four fronts, increasing population can be efficiently accommodated in the cities. The country looks forward to a better scenario.
Read More About…….Green Infrastructure: The Soul of a Smart City