Saturday, September 24, 2011

A confrontation on the cards

The fight for Colombo MC has not got dirty yet and people do not appear to be fired up as they should as it is a crucial election for those who live in the largest City in the Country and while it presents a face to the world, being the commercial capital means there are many hundreds of thousands who trek into the CMC every day be it for work or to go to school.

It therefore shares a greater burden than the actual population who live here, which is around 650,000 due to this transient population, that affects the road network that only gets worse on a daily basis.

One has to look in the future to realize some form of drastic road restrictions are inevitable sooner rather than later in order to ensure the smooth traffic flow without further affecting the productivity both of workers and of school kids who I think congregate to Colombo in astounding numbers. I do not think there is a capital in the world with this amount of kids coming to Colombo to attend school in favor of their own schools in the immediate vicinities in which they live. The restriction will take the form of high entry fees for motor vehicles entering Colombo, and the insistence of the greater use of public transport.

On the threewheeler issue there is a further spanner.Whilst on the one hand I agree the prevalence of threewheelers is a complete menace on the roads, they do provide a service. I believe they should be licensed and regulated in numbers to not more than 50,000 for Colombo, and this license auctioned off to the highest bidder. Too many of these actually creates clogging and little chance of a decent income for all those drivers who try to compensate at the moment by charging extortionate fees from clients. I always advise people to take normal taxis, as the metered version often turns out to be cheaper than the the smaller threewheeler.

So the confrontation I am referring to will take place no matter who wins. If it is govt. party then the people will take to the streets and protest the evictions that are inevitable no matter what the government says. On the other hand of the UNP comes into power in Colombo, people will still protest at the state of affairs in Colombo, and the confrontation the CMC leadership will have with the government interference in the running of the CMC.

The one light in the end of the horizon is that there is a huge revenue earning potential for the CMC from numerous ways of rates, which are currently not assessed fairly as there are many who get away with not paying any. and it will be the responsibility of a a responsible CMC to ensure all the rates are assessed properly and then all dues recovered in a timely manner. If this is done, then I believe there will be sufficient funds to develop all sectors of the City, especially the slums in a sustainable manner, so the majority of the people in Colombo can live in some form of standard, which provides them with power, sewerage and drinking water facilities.

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