Editorial Simplified: Re-Imagining Delhi | GS – II

Relevance :  GS Paper II (Governance)

Theme of the article

The governance structure is in need of a drastic remake.


Notwithstanding the importance of the rural sector, it is the cities and towns, that extensively impact the public’s perception of a government’s performance.

Governance issues in urban areas

  • annual inundation of cities,
  • daily loss of lives on roads,
  • frequent infernos highlight,
  • plethora of elected and other agencies
  • migration has steadily risen over the decades.
  • with people pouring into the city and cars on to roads, the outlook for the environment looks grim
  • large number of homeless people
  • large number of population is in slums and unauthorised colonies.
  • High wages with little accountability for actual service delivery make public sector agencies an obvious target for patronage hiring.
  • In most cities, municipalities are viewed as dens of corruption and inaction. Inspectors do not inspect, they only extort
  • Councillors and commissioners don’t regularly move around their wards; they remain inaccessible to people.

Way forward

  • Cities are in need of duly empowered municipalities and institutional systems and processes for closely coordinated and accountable agencies that can deliver in areas such as sanitation, health, education, mobility and housing.
  • We need privatisation of civic delivery services like cleaning of roads and drains.
  • Conservancy services deserve a senior-level exclusive administration.
  • Waste management demands professionalism and technology.
  • The use of biotechnology should help in the treatment and disposal of waste
  • information technology in city planning and service delivery options;
  • energy saving and cleaner technologies in urban transport;
  • high-tech, low-cost materials in building and housing.
  • Economies of scale can be achieved by sharing service areas such as billing and tariff collections, cable laying and maintenance.
  • Common Economic Zone, with a rationalised inter-State tax structure, uniform financial/banking services, telecom facilities and power supply, an integrated education and health policy, rail and road transport network, water supply and drainage system.


The city needs to first address its basic problems before it dreams of striding towards the goal of being really swachh and ‘smart’.