Modern Cities of Gujarat
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Lord Dalhousie and Jayalalithaa Use the Same Technology
Gujarat Cities Shine
Major Changes in Ahmedabad Every Year
Every year Ahmedabad city is experiencing major changes. Either a big wide road would have been built or a big flyover would have been constructed. A new building with ultra modern facilities will stand up in no time. But if you visit Chennai city, you will notice little change. V.P. Koil Street in Tondiarpet remains the same in twenty first century as it did in twentieth century. The same congestion, the same pollution - you can see everything same here. Coming to pollution, there is a criticism that the Gujarat government is not giving as much importance to this issue as it is giving to infrastructure. There are some Gujarat cities like Ankleshwar where the smell is intolerable at least for the new visitors.
Increased Budgetary Allocation for Urban Development
Like Ahmedabad, other cities in Gujarat like Surat, Rajkot and Baroda are also witnessing tremendous changes. Gujarat government allocates a large amount of budgetary resources for the urban development. Gujarat allocated Rs.153 crore for urban development in 2000-01. That was before Narendra Modi became the Chief Minister. In 2011-12, Gujarat government allocated Rs.3030 crore for urban development. You can imagine the importance bestowed for city development by Narendra Modi. According to 2011 census, 43% of people in Gujarat live in urban areas. Inspite of bringing many facilities to villages by the government, people still prefer to migrate to cities. Apart from this, many people from North India migrate to Gujarat on seeing its prosperity.
Narendra Modi Wants To Develop Gujarat to European Standards
Gujarat government is aware of the pressure on population and traffic. Because of this, the government increases its budgetary allocation for urban welfare every year. Narendra Modi is not satisfied by merely saying that Gujarat is better than this state or that state. He will compare Gujarat with a European country of comparable size and ask whether Gujarat has achieved the European standards. No wonder Narendra Modi has been the catalyst in developing Gujarat more and more. Narendra Modi declared 2005 as the year of urban welfare. The development of cities started from that year onwards. Gujarat government announced 173 schemes for improvement of roads, flyovers, water facility, waste disposal, sewage, modernisation of old cities and many such themes. Out of this, 56 schemes have been completed. Another 117 schemes are being implemented on a war footing.
The width of the roads in Ahmedabad surprises everybody. All the main roads are 4 lane roads. On both sides are service lanes. Apart from this, there is a protected 2-lane road in the middle of the broad road. Only special city buses can ply through this protected road. These special buses are a boon to the people of Ahmedabad. The special buses are able to avoid traffic jam in the peak hours and run fast. In 2009, 17000 people travelled in these buses every day. In 2011, this figure has increased to 140000. This kind of facility is also available in Mumbai and Jaipur on selected roads but the Ahmedabad standard is a world standard. Fares are also lower in Ahmedabad.
Tamil Nadu Roads Have Many Statues
Compare this to the roads in Chennai. There are many statues of Anna and Periyar erected in the middle of the roads. Tamil people are very fond of having Anna and Periyar statues. They are not satisfied if five or six statues are there in the road. They want at least fifty to sixty statues on main roads. They do not mind if the traffic is disrupted. So the politicians like Karunanidhi are forced to erect statues on main roads in Tamil Nadu. Gujarat government wants to operate metro rails on these special roads when the buses are not plying during non-peak hours. There is also a scheme connecting Ahmedabad and Gandhi Nagar, the capital through a metro rail.
Tourist Attractions in Cities
Gujarat government is also creating tourist attractions in cities. Tourists can have a balloon ride in Ahmedabad. Indian government banned this but Gujarat government won the case in the Supreme Court. Gujarat government is also implementing a river front project on the banks of Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad at a cost of Rs.1200 crore. This will be 23 km long. There will be many cultural projects, amusement parks, big gardens and mega malls all along the route. This will attract many tourists from outside and inside Gujarat. What is interesting is that even in the midst of hectic traffic, one can cover a minimum of 20 km distance in Ahmedabad city. During hectic peak hours, vehicles ply in normal speed because of huge width of the roads and flyovers.
Reverse Migration from Ahmedabad
In Tamil Nadu, only Chennai roads receive some attention and that too in the heart of the city. But in Gujarat, all the roads in all the areas in all the cities like Gandhi Nagar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot etc receive equal attention from the authorities. Because of this, people do not migrate to the capital city in bulk. They get all the facilities they need at their places. In fact there is even reverse migration from Ahmedabad to other cities.
Lord Dalhousie and Jayalalithaa Use the Same Technology
There are many reasons for the success of Gujarat. Uninterrupted electricity, modern roads, rural development and technological growth are all important reasons. But over and above these things, the main reason for Gujarat’s growth is Narendra Modi. In Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa handles many files every day. Officials from one department to another department move many files. These files contain tonnes of paper. Tamil Nadu like many states in India is following the same procedure as was in vogue during British India. There is very little difference between the handling of files by Lord Dalhousie and Jayalalithaa. But in Gujarat, even a Panchayat in village is connected to the State administration through Internet and Intranet. Work is done fast. Communication is made at a brisk pace. Decisions are taken on the spot after weighing all facts.