Smruti Koppikar interviewed me for her article in Mint: “A battered Mumbai is trying to regain its mojo.”
The key condition, according to Rajesh Jain, founder and managing director of Netcore, is for the 24×7 coverage of covid-19 in the media to be tapered off. “This will immediately reduce fear,” he said, “Then the government should upgrade health infrastructure so that people are assured of care if infected, and then introduce reforms to restart the economy.”
Among the reforms Jain prescribes are “Dhan Wapsi” or raising resources from public lands, creation of Special Economic Zones, and a mayor answerable to Mumbaikars. “There is big economic devastation. We will have to rebuild the economy and learn to live with the virus. It isn’t going to say goodbye to us at 5am on July 1st,” Jain added.
Here is what I had written in my Mission 10-20-30 series: “India’s cities need to be freed from the clutches of the Central and State governments. Cities are where wealth creation happens. Cities are where poor people want to migrate in search of opportunities. Over the next 15 to 20 years, 40 crore Indians will leave their villages and move to cities in search of a better future. Swantantra Cities will have directly elected and empowered mayors as the starting point for urban governance reforms.”