From better civic amenities to more bicycle stations, there’s a lot to hope for this year

Each year, international tourists have the option of writing down their wish on confetti and posting them on the New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall at Times Square Museum and Visitor Center, New York. We in Hyderabad may not have a wishing wall. But we, at MetroPlus, list them out here and hope at least a few of these come true.

Political stability: This is a larger dream, one that will have longstanding repercussions. In the recent past, the city witnessed many shutdowns owing to talks of bifurcation; this in turn has come in the way of large scale development projects. A wish for a bandh-free 2014 overrides everything else.

Smooth rides: The need for good roads will remain a constant in the city’s wish list. This year it will be a priority since the ongoing Metro construction work has rendered many arterial roads narrow. Since monsoon, the city hasn’t seen full-fledged road repair work, leaving commuters to suffer potholes and bumpy rides.

Let them walk: Unlike earlier, many large traffic junctions in the city now have signals for pedestrians. Still, how many commuters stop? While the green lights indicate a man walking, vehicles need to come to a complete halt.

Clean water bodies: The Forum for a Clean Hussain Sagar initiated a people-centric drive to maintain cleanliness of the lake. As part of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)-assisted Hussain Sagar Catchment Area Improvement Project, kiosks were set up around Tank Bund for collection of puja material during Ganesh Visarjan. Months later, little has changed. People throwing plastic and leftover food into the lake is a common sight.

Cycle to work: Thanks to the efforts of Hyderabad Bicycling Club and the municipal corporation, the city got a new bicycle station with nearly 300 bikes at Gachibowli. In a bid to encourage more professionals to cycle to work, plans are on to develop safe cycling tracks and set up new bicycle stations all over the city. One just hopes this doesn’t turn out to be a pipe dream.

Lung space: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is working towards developing a Japanese theme garden across 3500 square yards in Jubilee Hills. This is a welcome sign in times of dwindling lung space throughout the city. Malls and multiplexes can wait; what the city needs is more parks in residential colonies.

Easy access: A large number of buildings in the city, especially malls and multiplexes, need more ramps to facilitate easy access for the physically challenged.