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Building an Ugly India

Submitted by on January 31, 2007 – 4:35 am

India is on the move. Meet anyone -more so someone who has returned from India- and ask him/her: “So India is progressing well?” “Oh,yeah! for sure. Wherever you go, you see new roads, bridges being constructed. The face of India is changing and it is changing very fast. New buildings are coming up. And they add: If you want to see a true revolution of mobile telephony, India ia an apt example.”

However, what kind of India is coming up? Confused and zig-zag! What are we building up: cities of slums! Villages are shrinking up and being replaced by messy sub-divisions (tehsils). We have absolutely no control over our civic planning: things are just popping up haphazardly. And lesser we talk about pollution, the better it is! It is not that we cannot plan or envisage: we have brilliant minds in the concerned fields to take care of the things. But who cares! The mafia of builders and greedy politicians will like to put everything on sale to fill their coffers! It is so pathetic to see that Delhi which is so badly congested continues to expand with the help of its satellite towns: Faridabad, Gurgaon, NOIDA, and many more (see a link below about Gurgaon). Such is the expediency that from Presidential house (Rastrapati Bhavan) to needle-manufacturing units and pollution-emitting industrial units: everything seems to be hinging on Delhi or around. Everyting and everyone seems to be rushing towards Delhi! The situation of Mumbai and Kolkatta seems to be more horrific!

In this brilliant article “Building an Ugly India”, Gautam Bhatia- who is an architect- speaks out his inner pain the way we continue to build an ugly India.
Click on the link to read this article. Solution: He concludes by asking:”Or is it too late?”

Link about Gurgaon: A concerned citizen writes in The Tribune (Feb, 07):

Pangs of growth

Gurgaon town is growing by leaps and bounds. Presently, it consists of 56 sectors. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has planned 51 additional sectors by 2021 in the Master Plan touching IMT Manesar.

Then comes the realm of Special Economic Zones — 600 acres by Orient Craft, 10,000 acres by HSIDC, 25,000 acres by Reliance Industries Limited, 20,000 acres by DLF and 5,000 acres by Raheza Group. Many more players may join the bandwagon by 2021. HUDA is also planning the expansion of Dharuhera complex from the other end. By 2021, Gurgaon town would become a monstrous city of 400 sectors!

With the existing drainage system, Gurgaon cannot bear even a single 50 mm rainfall of two hours. Environmental and ecological problems will further compound the sustainable issues. Will the Haryana government and NCR authorities realise the gravity of the situation and apply a mid-course correction expeditiously?

RAM NIWAS MALIK, Engineer-in-Chief (retd),Panckhula

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