Vantage point

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Orissa Leads the Way!

Of all the states, it is Orissa that has pioneered this welcome step. It has decided to outsource select municipal services to private firms. Privatisation of such processes where ingenuity and discipline of the private sector can do a much better job than the complacent laziness of the public sector is but a logical step, and one wonders why it has not been thought of despite our cities being in such pathetic conditions.

A tiny beginning of this process was made years ago in a few Indian cities thanks to private initiative, with no involvement from the government. In Pune a lot of individuals would buy a small truck, and then collect garbage from buildings, and deposit it all at the city dump. At least our neighbourhood underwent a remarkable transformation after these "kachra tempos" started operating.

Its good to see the government taking such initiatives.

The article ends on a good note - In some areas, multiple service providers would be engaged to facilitate competition among them.

There are some flaws in the idea, like the government deciding the charges to be levied on residents instead of the market deciding it. But hey, at least its a start.