Why India Must Urgently Address its Out of Control Urban Crisis?

Indian Cities are becoming Unlivable

Indian cities are becoming unlivable by the day. Indeed, the quality of life has deteriorated in all the Indian cities so much that experts predict the cities would become unlivable in a few years time.

Whether it is the problem of pollution that is now threatening the survival of the citizens, the lack of potable and safe water to drink, or the absence of a comprehensive disaster management plan to tackle flooding and the out of control traffic on the roads, all the present pointers indicate to a crisis of such proportions which can create chaos and cause social unrest.

Indeed, the time for politicking and blame games is over and instead, what is needed is a well thought out and precisely executed plan to tackle these urban problems at the earliest.

The Problems have Multiplied and on a severe magnitude

While in earlier years, such problems too threatened the urban citizens, what is different over the last few years is the sheer magnitude of the problems and the severe crisis that is afflicting them. For instance, pollution, as can be seen in Delhi over the last few months, is a problem that afflicts all residents, whether rich or poor, privileged or less privileged.

Indeed, when the very air one breathes is harmful to one’s health, how many air purifiers and how many climate regulating devices installing which was once thought to be the solution, can help when the problem is so acute and severe that breathing the air in Delhi is now considered equivalent to smoking fifty cigarettes in a day.

India’s Urban Crisis Affects Everyone

Apart from this, the recent instances of floods in Chennai and Mumbai have not brought to the fore the totally unprepared civic administrations which could respond to the emergencies nor could they help the residents in these cities.

Despite retreating into gated communities and taking precautions to tide over such problems, the privileged now find that such solutions are not the answer when the underlying problem is to do with the sheer livability in Indian cities.

Thus, this means that India’s urban crisis afflicts everyone and hence, it is time for all stakeholders to come together to address the urban nightmare that is unfolding in front of our eyes. Further, the fact that the survival of the urban residents is at stake means that social unrest cannot be ruled out and which can indeed lead to very ugly situations in the future.

Tackling the Problems

Therefore, solutions such as tackling the root causes of the problems plaguing Urban India should be taken on a war footing. Indeed, the fact that we are not short on monetary resources or the nonmonetary front means that the problems are not being caused due to a paucity of funds or manpower on the ground.

For instance, the taxes collected in Urban India can fund even the most costly of solutions which in addition can also be funded by the privileged since the problems affect them as well.

In other words, what we are short of is the will to tackle the deep-rooted causes of the present urban crisis.

Flooding in cities can be addressed by not permitting the lakes and the stormwater drains to be encroached upon which means that if there is a determination and a will to address such problems, the solutions would present themselves automatically.

In addition, what is needed is a collective effort to address the problems instead of resorting to blame games and short-term thinking. to take an example, all the organs of the state and the institutions of the government must work together in unison rather than being bogged down in administrative and other logjams and then, they can come up with solutions that can be enforced as well.

We Have the Administrative Capabilities as well

It is not like we have not faced such problems earlier and that we did not arrive at the solutions then. Indian policymakers organize the Kumbh Mela and other such gigantic events every now and then without many problems and this speak volumes about the administrative capabilities that are latent in the country.

In addition, we are also known to tackle cyclones and superstorms efficiently and this means that we have the will to tackle such problems as well.

Thus, what is needed is a collective effort that has the necessary backing of the political stakeholders since after all, they are accountable to the voters and hence, it is also in their interest to tackle such problems.

This means that our cities need not become nightmarish places to live and work and instead, can become havens of prosperity and wellbeing if only we placed the interests of the collective over the individual gains and if only, can we translate vision to reality. Indeed, we do have the plans in place and the vision to back them up. Just that we need to get better at implementation especially in the last mile connectivity which is often the reason why we fail in execution.


Lastly, the future generations need to live in a city that is habitable and as the saying goes; we not inherited the Earth, but have merely borrowed it from our children, which mean that we have a duty and responsibility to future generations to leave them a world that is worth living. To conclude, now is the time to tackle the urban crisis before it goes out of control and threatens our collective future and our children’s future as well.

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