Authorities need to be upfront about projects
How is it going to be given back? We need to have an illustrated guide at the site, explaining to the community how exactly they would get their garden back and a timeline for the same
It is a New Year and hopefully, one should begin with a clean slate ushering in 2019. One of the big infrastructure projects this year will be the Coastal Road. We anticipate plenty of chatter and news about Mumbai's upcoming arm of public transport, beginning from Princess Street and joining the Bandra Worli Sea Link (BWSL).
Authorities must learn from all the controversy about the Metro construction that has created so many altercations between residents, activists and the Metro authorities through the past two years. Besides court cases, there has been plenty of fracas in the public space, too.
One of the key ways to minimise conflict is to be more forthcoming with how infra is going to affect citizens, while in the developing stages. The Metro authorities for instance said that gardens taken away for Metro stations will be given back. A Prabhadevi garden has been demolished for a Metro station.
How is it going to be given back? We need to have an illustrated guide at the site, explaining to the community how exactly they would get their garden back and a timeline for the same. This would help build trust between the authorities and the public.
It is be Utopian and in fact naïve to expect that there will be no protests with a project of this scale. A democracy allows people to question and oppose. Yet, we hope that the community is given some idea about what is going to happen at certain junctions when it comes to the Coastal Road.
A well-illustrated map at the site, or at locations explaining how work is going to progress, what if any disruptions and changes are needed, will go some way in assuaging fears and dispelling doubts. It will also, to an extent, bridge the trust deficit between developers and the public. The people do have the right to know the truth.
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