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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Make Kolkata A Better City

The present government of West Bengal has vowed that Kolkata will be soon transformed to a city like London. Whether Kolkata will be transformed to London is a matter of great debate. But government officials can at least make their city better. I share some tips here to make our city better.

1)      Don’t spit: Initially, I wanted to write, ‘Don’t spit on streets’. Then I thought that irresponsible citizens spit on office & building walls. I think that government needs to take stern actions against those who spit badly on nice places.
2)      Constructions: Streets of a great city should be perfect for walking. Here in Kolkata, when I walk daily on the streets, I see that the footpath is uneven. So much so that anybody can get his or her leg injured. Also, streets are accompanied by carelessly left garbage and cow dung. This should be stopped?
3)      Road construction: Road construction companies don’t have a sense of beauty. I am sure about that. They will dig out our city streets for various “repairing” & “maintenance” reasons. Once the repairing is done, they will leave the unused bricks, sands on the place of work. Nobody protests against that.
4)      Bus stops: On weekdays, I board a bus from Kalamandir bus stop for coming to Lake Town. I see no traffic cop near that bus stop. As a result, buses hardly stop at the proper bus stops and people rush here and there to ride on to the bus.
On Kolkata streets, auto-rickshaws and taxis intentionally stop at bus stop to pick-up passengers. Because of occupying space by these vehicles, buses can’t stop at the proper locations.
5)      Illegal parking: Also, I find that News media vehicles illegally get parked very near to Kalamandir bus stop in the evening time. Are media people above law? Don’t they care for city’s betterment? Who knows? I have seen some private cars and possibly cars of BPO companies stop only at bus stops to pick-up the employees. Can’t they choose a place “near” bus stops to do the same job? I have never seen any traffic police hardly objecting that.
6)      No private buses at night: Government must urge private bus companies to give special buses between 11 pm – 3.30 am at night.
7)      Think green not blue: The new TMC government once decided to turn Kolkata from Red city (as a symbol of earlier Left government) to Blue city. I think, painting government cars, houses with blue might be a loss-making idea as lots of government money will be spent on artificial paints. Rather, it would be better if Kolkata’s people plant more trees and turn Kolkata into a Green city. In this regard, I would to say, some people have cut the trees near Lake Town and Salt Lake (near both sides of canal). The density of trees have become very less there. The government must take throughout the year initiative to plant trees in and around Kolkata.
8)      Suggestion box: There will be suggestion boxes at public places where citizens can drop in their suggestions to make Kolkata a better living place.
9)      Role of police: Kolkata police says, they are our friends. They should work with Kolkata Municipality to make plans for the years ahead.
10)  Individual responsibility: We should not individually support city-life-slow-down activities like “Bandhs”, “Chakka Jam”. Also, throwing a pile of garbage in a plastic bag on adjacent road won’t make us responsible citizens. We can’t make our city dirty and give a lame excuse, “Thank God, we have not grown up!”. We must rethink about our activities as Goddess Kali of Kalighat temple might expect us to grow up and care for our city!