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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: After the floods, Bengaluru needs to clean up its act

 Source: The Hindu

 

  • Prelims: Floods, rainfall pattern, Disaster management, e/governance etc
  • Mains GS Paper II & III: Issues with the urbanization, corruption and issues associated with it.

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Various analyses attribute Bengaluru’s flooding to more rainfall in the future.
    • It is expected to increase to an average of 1,000 mm per annum from the current 650 mm per annum .

          

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

Floods:

  • A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry.
  • In the sense of “flowing water“, the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide.

There are three common type of floods:

  • Flash Floods: Caused by rapid and extensive rainfalls.
  • River Floods: Caused when consistente rain or snow melt forces a river to exceed capacity.
  • Coastal Floods: Caused by storm surges associated with tropical cyclones and tsunami.

 

 

Impact of corruption on cities:

  • Cripples economic growth:It cripples economic growth in ways not readily apparent.
  • Wealth to undeserving: Transferring inordinate wealth to the undeserving
  • Vested interested groups: It creates a slew of vested interests, who resist anti-corruption process reforms.

 

Impact of narrow and rigid rules on people:

  • Strict laws. Building bye-laws are so labyrinthine that the strictest law-abiding citizen cannot comply with them.
  • Opportunities to agents: That provides opportunities for agents who bypass the system’s rigidities.
  • Red tapism: Ironically then, corruption actually reduces red tape.

 

The loopholes

  • Excape: Legal definition of corruption enables many in a corrupt system to escape culpability.
  • Only public servants under corrupt act: Indian law recognises only corrupt acts by public servants to be ‘acts of corruption’ under the law.
  • Private corruption is not criminalized: many government actions are outsourced to private agents.

 

Issues with E-Governance:

  • Relocate: E-enabled systems often only relocate the locus of corruption
  • Vulnerable to manipulation: Large databases, such as land records, when moved to paperless systems are vulnerable to manipulation.
  • Encroachments: They are enabled when old records are destroyed and new ones are created.
  • Digital signatures: Power shifts from land administrators to the one who possesses the digital signature.
  • The data entry operator: He becomes an all-important and corruptible cog in the wheel.

 

Steps that can be taken to prevent floods in cities:

  • Decongest the city
  • Plant more trees
  • Save wetlands
  • Desilt drains
  • Enlarge sewers
  • Deconcretise pavements
  • Stop the clogging of waterways with unsegregated garbage.
  • Demolition of unauthorized encroachments.

 

Way Forward

  • Regular assessments and evaluations of ongoing anti-corruption measures: Eliminate the possibility of declaring false victories.
    • They help in red-flagging new corruption opportunities, even as old ones are eliminated.
  • Whistle-blower protection: A genuine regime of whistle-blower protection assures honest citizens, politicians, bureaucrats and judges of protection, as they otherwise fear the adverse repercussions for uncovering illegal activities.
    • Confidence-assuring whistle-blower protection measures can lead to exposure of more corruption, particularly at higher levels.
  • Promoting ethical behavior: Conscious move towards promoting ethical behavior.
    • As moral science education has been tainted by religious colours.
  • Need of an enlightened leadership: The one necessary ingredient, going by the experience of cities and countries that have cleaned up their acts.
    • If anti-corruption strategies are to be successful,

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

  1. E-governance is not only about utilization of the power of new technology, but also much about the critical importance of the ‘use value’ of information. Explain.(UPSC 2018)

                                                                            (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)