Mapping sustainable communities

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1.PAST SCENARIO

Puddupakkam was just a rural village until very recently. It was an area of farms just about 10 years ago. It is a pretty old village, where a bulk of the people were farmers. Roads were mud roads that weren’t that difficult to travel in, as there was not much motor traffic back then in this area. It was an extremely green area with huge clumps of trees everywhere. Not many lights were put up then, as there seemed to be no need for them. The development of this area only started about five years ago.

2.PRESENT SCENARIO

Now, Puddupakkam is an extremely fast developing area with many projects lining up in construction and businesses. In just the past two years, the number of shops and departmental stores have shot up. There has also been many communities and apartment complexes that have been built and more are on the way.  Due to the extreme pace of development in the area, more vehicles had to come here and fast. To achieve this, poorly built temporary roads were put, or in some cases they were just leveled. About a year back, good roads were finally built but this was not exactly the best decision, as construction is still ongoing. Despite the increase in bustle in the area, not much effort has been put into proper lighting on the roads. This proves to be a problem as, there are lots of wild animals around and it gets hard to see after the sun sets.

3. FUTURE SCENARIO

If the situation is going to be handled the same way in the future, this is going to lead to a lot of problems. To name a few, a lot more accidents are going to occur due to the poor quality of the roads, construction equipment and vehicles, and poor lighting, which in turn is going to lead to a lot of complaints from a lot of angry people. Especially those who travel via bicycles or motorbikes. Due to the impending rains every year, the roads are just going to get worse. So, it is important to not only build good roads but also sustainable ones. It is also possible for there to be a good outcome but this would need support from the government and people living around the area. It would require a lot of hard work and perseverance but it is possible nonetheless to get sustainable roads and good quality lighting.

5.STAKEHOLDERS

A.Residents living in and around the area.

B.The government or the panchayat of the area.

C.Construction workers.

D.People who use the roads frequently for work or any other reason.

5.PARALLEL WITH ANOTHER COUNTRY

A.Orange City Council from Australia keeps track on road quality and have a website where road related problems can be reported. They also have a lot of information regarding building of roads.

B.The Government of Sri Lanka along with the help of the World Bank revamped their entire road system in 2004. They were able to offer good roads for transport to both urban and rural areas. The roads were not only of good quality but were sustainable too.

C.Germany has kept certain rules that have to be followed to prolong the life of their roads. These rules are taken very seriously and have helped in the sustainability of their roads.

6.QUESTIONS FOR EXPERTS

A.Have you experienced this problem personally?

B.What do you think, we as children could do to solve this issue?

C.What could be the first step?

D.Do you know how we could solve this issue?

E.Do you think the problem would persist in the future?