I write this while sipping on bubble tea on a road side pop-up cafe on one of Singapore’s busiest streets.
It’s humid and with a constant drizzle on this warm afternoon; on this busy crossroad with bustling crowds waiting for the green light to cross the road. Vehicles moving at nothing more than 20kph; but the drivers seem accustomed to the slow traffic. No ones honking like a maniac wanting to reach the moon before the others. From that business man in the Merc to the delivery boy in the truck, they get the concept of ‘right of way’.
While I’m here waiting for a friend, killing time, I can’t help but compare my home town to this place. This place is clean as a whistle, even though it rains every 10 mins. With not a scrap of paper thrown on the streets, this city is a delight to a cleanaholic. There are umpteen numbers of trash cans on the pedestrian walks which keep the city littler-free.
Back home, regardless of the weather, streets constantly stink of shit. Even more, if I’m looking desperately for a trash can, possibilities are that I won’t find one, and even if I do, it will be overflowing with garbage and on to the footpath; IF there is a footpath.
There’s colour in the buildings, there’s colour on the umbrellas, the shorts, the rubber flip flops.
I don’t mean to come across as someone trying to compare a developing city in India to a smart city like Singapore. There’s a reason I’m writing this.
I’m obviously going to sound silly if I say our country as a whole needs to improve its self, because I’m sure if Singapore or any other small city state was as big as India, they’d have similar problems too.
We have very similar weather conditions in many cities down south, but God forbid it rains! Oh dear! There’s going to be no roads. My only concern in this regard is the infrastructure back home and why can’t our city municipalities build better infrastructures? Why is it so hard to make good roads that will last for decades without having to dig them up every summer for water and every monsoon for wiring purposes? Why do we have hawkers and garbage piled up on footpaths making the existence of the footpath futile?
We need local corporations and municipalities to consider weather factors and the comfort of its people while making roads and other walkways. Waste bins, public restrooms, subway crossings, drinking water taps all of these basic amenities are not optional. I should be able to walk out of the house knowing I’ll get what I want where I want, and not have to come back home to use the washroom. But having these is not enough, we as citizens and concerned ones need to keep our streets tidy and we have to follow the rules, because THERE ARE RULES.