This post is inspired from http://tvmrising.blogspot.com/2008/03/its-been-while-since-i-wrote-my-last.html
Trivandrum aka Thiruvananthapuram…I always wanted to write about my city…But I never craved a sense of belonging to the city when I stayed there. Maybe because I was an adopted resident of the city as my parents came from kottayam. But ever since I left the place four years ago, I have become fonder and more nostalgic of my city.
What is so special about Trivandrum is the unique position it is in now…A situation which if utilized can bring prosperity and growth beyond our imagination. It can if channeled properly generate wealth and increase multifold the living standards of the residents... To be treated with caution is that it doesn’t take the path of other cities where corrective action is too late. It is a challenge to both the administration and the people to handle the pivotal opportunity that has come at the cusp of our nation’s growth. Of late, I have been following several websites and chat forums which discuss the new projects and growth potential of the city. Many of them are a lovely read like Ajay’s blog which makes me feel gallant about being a trivandrumite. So that got me thinking about the greatness of our city…
There are many things which typical identify a great city…People ...Infrastructure...Culture...Location
If we aspire the city to be mentioned often enough in the global map we need all the four to give positive vibes to anyone. When for example when I ask someone what you feel about Mexico City it is the huge dense population that comes in picture...When I ask someone about Shanghai...people think about growth and world class infrastructure…Think about Paris and it is the romance…So each city has a USP which attracts or turns off people ....
Most of us aspire our city to grow and have a USP which would put it in the world map...Yes we have Kovalam which used to be our little USP …We have Technopark… We have VSSC…but are they worthy of mention in the current scale??...The answer is a resounding ‘NO’...
I don’t want to waste time cribbing the negatives and rather think how can we go ahead.. Here is the statistical comparison between two cities …Hamburg and Trivandrum.
Area 755 km² (292 sq mi)
Population 1,769,117 (10/2007)
Density 2,343 /km² (6,069 /sq mi)
Area• 141.74 km² (55 sq mi)
Population• 744,739 (2001) Density 5,284 /km² (13,685 /sq mi)
Source : wikipedia
It might be intriguing to you about the choice of Hamburg …simply coz
1) I have been staying in the city for past year and half and got a fair know-how about what drives the city.
2) It is the second largest port in Europe.
3) It is the only city in Germany having a positive growth.
So assuming that we aspire Trivandrum develops into a port city in the future, we can expect large scale migration of people and increase in the Urban area of the city, which would mean, that we can expect the reach the statistics of Hamburg in future if certain things materializes. It might sound preposterous to compare Trivandrum with Hamburg, But I simply find that it is the most obvious thing to while setting targets.
A city of that magnitude would required
1) Materialization of Vizhinjam Port
It is sad that we might have mentioned the word Vizhinjam more often in blogs than in any government documents or the dusty libraries of Ministry of Shipping…If there is no chance of that coming up sooner or later the whole post is a junk fairy tale. From what I have learned about the prospects of the port it would have been developed at meteoric pace by most other countries.
2) Excellent transport network
It might be audacious to propose a metro for Trivandrum. But I say it has to come some point of time anyway...isn’t? It might be of interest that Hamburg has had a metro for last 100 years . Our existing transport structure encourages people to use private vehicles which is what is least desired in a rapidly growing city. I believe people would be ready to abandon if comfortable and on-time public transport is provided. Assuming by the time technocity and other parks are fully operational soon, we wouldn’t be fancying 30-40k people traveling in own cars daily to work place...A metro would allow anyone to travel from say Pattom/Kowdiar to work place in 15-20 minutes. .
3) Relocation of futile infrastructure.
Honestly I don’t find any sense in having a stadium in the heart of the city…Probably we are the only city which is eating up good area of commercially viable area on three “not anywhere near world class “stadiums in the middle of town . Sad that it doesn’t even serve the purpose what it was initially built for…We have more party meets or channel award functions than anything else out there.. New sporting infrastructure in the outskirts of the city which would actually make sense of the term “world class” is what is required. The question that pops up is where the money would come from!! Yes I am sorry that I am no Warren Buffet and I assume the money is generated from converted commercial land and adequate private investment to be attracted …it would make sense!!…
4) Commercial culture
It is sad to admit that under current conditions Trivandrum is no shopping paradise...We don’t have a decent shopping street for that matter… What we have is a busy road from statue till east fort with shops and government offices on either sides and sporadic shopping plazas.. But it is crucial to develop something like a downtown shopping street which would actually make shopping a pleasant experience for consumers.
Sigh...How many umpteen times have we said this before…isn’t? With the existing infrastructure in Trivandrum airport it would barely fit the bill of international status...The 258 crore allotted to build the new terminal in my opinion is cosmetic and is a pitiful amount if we aspire to be a global city (just fyi 24000 crore is what is allotted for new terminal in Delhi (source:wiki)).
6) Resident space
Skyscrapers budding up around the city are signs of prosperity but to be taken in with caution, not at the cost of the environment…We are simply underestimating the cost we would be paying for lesser green cover. Blatant residential infrastructure development is the bane of most growing cities and authorities to be sensitive to environment and sensible pricing of the new homes built.
The “people” part of the city is as much or infact more important than the buildings and landscapes....Ofcoz when a city grows it is natural for influx of outsiders...That means we must be tolerant to new cultures and new lifestyles which they bring in...If Chinatown in London or Little India in Singapore are symbols of cities that welcomed other vibrant cultures, we must expect the same here… Embrace people from outside, be it from Delhi...Bangalore...Chennai. or Cochin. C’mon they are here for making a living and so do we…Does this all hatred make sense??
If I would say what is least attractive about Trivandrum is the political stigma attached to the place…Being Political conscious or aware doesn’t necessarily have to be translated to being politically militant… Funny when people give more importance to politics than their daily bread?? I would dream of the day when the outside world would be shocked to hear that hartals and bandhs used to happen on our state…Wouldn’t it make sense if you just think who is gaining out of the whole show!!
We need to educate people to change attitudes...Say hello to the traffic policeman. Say thanks to the bus driver…we can definitely put a conscious effort to make people happy about their jobs... And the people in those shops for god sake you are the seller…This is the most common complaint which I hear from outsiders about our city...Rather than blaming at people who are accusing us, lets correct ourselves…It aint dishonor to be good again.
The potential of our city is enormous...We can be a great port city...A niche IT metropolis...A fabulous tourist paradise...A class educational attraction…the potentials are plenty. There is a sense of hope and chance for us to be part of the change or define the change…Hope for a time when people would love the city for the modernity..for the heritage...for the beauty...and for the people...Hope to see better times for my city.
Once upon a time…….. - *kadalinakkare ponore, kaana ponninu ponorekadalinakkare ponore, kaana ponninu ponore* *poy varumbol enthu kondu varum -- kai niraye* *poy varumbol enthu k...
7 years ago