Chitralekha Gujarati issue dated 01 June 2015
Watch “Editor’s Audio Note” on YouTube -
Smart Cities: How Smart Will They Be..?
After 1947, India is experiencing another exodus, which, if not as painful, is no less in scale and magnitude: urbanization. More and more people from villages are flocking to cities in a bid to improve quality of their lives. And this inevitably strains the limits of cities and their infrastructure, sometimes pushing them to a breaking point. Smart City is therefore a project to recast India’s urban landscape, which is bursting at the seams by the sudden onslaught.
The stated objective of the project is to more efficiently utilize available assets, resources and infrastructure to enhance quality of urban life. This means there would be space in place of clutter, cleanliness in place of filth, comfortable commuting, availability of 24-hour water, electricity and other amenities. Under this mission, 100 such smart cities would be built. Which are these 100 cities and where does Gujarat stand in this race for smart city? Asks the latest cover story in Chitralekha by Samir Paleja, Faysal Bakili and Jwalant Chhaya.
Global surveys indicate that the first phase of urbanization, say up to 30 percent, is usually slow, but after that it picks up a lightning speed, jeopardizing the basis of their infrastructure. In this context it is worrisome that India’s 31 percent population has already migrated to and settled in cities. It is estimated that by 2050, India would need seven new cities each the size of Delhi, to accommodate the incessant flow from villages.
Since creating new cities would be rather impractical, in the circumstances existing cities would need to be equipped to absorb the new visitors from our villages. Today, our cities’ contribution to the National GDP is close to 60 percent. In next 15 years this figure would shoot up to 75 percent. In other words, cities will act as engine for national development and growth and villages would sluggishly follow them. And if no timely measures are taken with regard to management and distribution of urban space and employment, the cities’ peace and security could be imperiled in days to come.
In order to stave off this scenario, Indian government has announced this mission to create 100 smart cities
And what would these smart cities like? Unpolluted air, pure water, non-stop electricity supply, comfortable traveling, effective healthcare, flawless and scientific sewage system, availability of high education, congenial environment for business and security and safety for its inhabitant, not to mention Hifi facility and fasttrack communication system.
In other words a city where one can live without stress and strain of modern life is a smart city. It was Modi who had broached the subject of smart city during his election campaign and it is understandable if Varanasi and Delhi emerge as top contenders among the top in the race for smart city. During January our Urban Development minister Venkahah Naidu had announced that smart city guidelines have been finalized.
In its first phase of the project, government has decided to make the cities of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharastra, Hariyana, UP, besides Delhi. Some cities in Gujarat have already started working in the direction of fulfillment of criteria for smart cities. These include Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Dholera and Rajkot…!
The term ‘smart city’ encompasses a vision of an urban space that aims at improving the quality of wellbeing.
In Search of Her Father
She was six when Nilanjana’s father, Ashok Kumar Ghosh, an army man went untraceable during the ’71 Bangladesh war. It is not clear whether he has been martyred or taken as a prisoner of war. However, she has not yet given up hope to see her father back home. Her only wish or demand is-I want my father back.
Though young at that time, she still vividly remembers how her father would bring toys, play pranks, sometimes disguised as a monk to mock-frighten the family members. 44 years later, Nilanjana is waiting, hoping against hope, to see him once again, says Ketan Trivedi.
Things became complicated for her when her mother decided to marry again. Though initially she approved of the marriage, little did she realize that the mother’s marriage meant wiping out even remnants of her father’s memories.
The story carries info on how father-son advocate duo (Madan Gopal Pal and Kishore pal) have been fighting to get Nilanjana Ghosh the justice that has been eluding her.
Collector’s Edition of the Gita
Narendra Modi likes gifting to his guests the holy book of Gita. So when he was gifted with a copy of the Gita, for a change, he was pleasantly surprised by the unique edition of the holy book, notes Samir Paleja.
Printed at a whopping Rs.40000, this is a special edition, says Hemant Sheth, Director Marketing, Srinavas Fine Arts. Published under the brand name Vedic Cosmos, the company had 10 scholars on the Vedic literature. It is amazing how each aspect of mythology and even printing has been assiduously worked upon. When they needed unique paintings, they went to extraordinary lengths to find a painter who had made some exclusive paintings on the subject. The rights for these paintings were purchased from Mysore Ramsang Kala Trust.
Printed on acid-free, eco-friendly paper from Italy, plastic from Switzerland, peacock-feather bookmark from Hong Kong and vegetarian ink from India, this Bhagwad Gita is really an exclusive edition.
In Death She Found Justice
Aruna Shanbaug, the nurse who had been confined to her bed in a state of comatose in KEM Hospital for the past 42 years is finally a liberated soul. The girl who was brutally raped four decades ago by a sweeper was denied justice all her life. The courts did not accept the plea of an empathetic journalist who had filed a petition to request to let her die with dignity. Early this week she passed away and finally found the elusive ‘justice’.
It may be recalled here that the former editor of Chitralekha Late Sri Harkishanbhai Mehta had written a novel based on the ordeal of Shanbaug’s life. His fictional character Tulsi based on Aruna is still etched in our memory, says Hiren Mehta.
Apart from the above, the issue also carries a story (Sunil Mevada) on the spate of killing of bloggers in Bangladesh by religious fundamentalists who have vowed to wipe out all atheists and islamophobes and prepared a hit list of 84 ‘transgressors’.
There are also Political & Humour columns, Palak, Sonography, Cardiogram, short story, Health Helpline, Jalsaghar and Mukhwas.
Criticism and pet pigeon have one thing in common,
At the end of the day, both return to their original owners..!!