To deal with the problems related to urbanisation, there should be a coercive implementation of remedial measures, says Shashi Tharoor
He was speaking on ‘Challenges and opportunities to urbanisation in Kerala’ as part of a lecture series on policy dialogue organised by Open Space, Thiruvananthapuram, in the city on Saturday. Open Space is a youth and civil society outreach initiative in the State. The discussion focussed on the present problems of urbanisation in the State, particularly in the city that is reeling under waste management crisis and traffic congestion.
The problems faced by the State today owing to urbanisation were the results of man-made mistakes. People had to be coerced into initiating necessary measures to tackle these issues, said Mr. Tharoor. M.A. Baby, MLA, said that to deal with unplanned urbanisation, there should be a massive change in the socio-economic relations and various State policies. Equally important was the intervention at grass-root level which could be achieved only through creating awareness.
“Unless there is public participation, we cannot solve the issues and it is this realisation that needs to be taught to people. We should have a massive democratic force at molecular level. It should not be a top-down approach but a collective effort,” he said.
Also expressing his views was State Planning Board member G. Vijayaraghavan who felt that those who failed to take these issues seriously had to be punished.
“People feel that they can easily get away with any mistake they commit. We do not have a strict penal system. There has been interference in the system’s actual functioning at various levels,” Mr. Vijayaraghavan said.