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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wah Kanpur,Ahh Kanpur!-3

For reading the series of: Wah Kanpur,Ahh Kanpur!-1st and 2nd.They were on funny side of life at Kanpur ,this one on the reality side...

This is an edited compilation of discussions on online forums;
"Kanpur is a microcosm of what most of India is like in a nutshell; The vast majority of people are too caught up with making with their economic and caste problem and a little time to realize the importance of basic civic sense (keeping the city clean,obeying the law etc.). The solution to the problem, like the rest of India lies in uplifting the poorest sections of society(which also form most of the population!) through education and health care. Its sorry to say but few most educated residents of city for don't pay tax or electricity bill, etc but still Kanpur belongs to one of the largest revenue generating cities of India.Shamefully amazing....

No city in India, however big,is completely free from basic/infrastructural problems.However,most cities which have now become big players in terms of economy etc. took some bold initiatives. The reason why they are now on the world map, though, is that they've all taken the plunge, and gone ahead with liberalization and transparency in governmental system,despite their problems.

First and foremost reason for that is insufficient power supply, secondly the corruption. But this will require what most of us already know...selfless and capable politicians (i.e. visionaries).Do anyone has known what People from non-Hindi belt think about UP and Bihar? They talk about both the states in the same breadth. When you will leave your city (also state) for the job location to Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai or Hyderabad, then you will realize we are behind them atleast 10 years in infrastructure facilities.

Literacy rate of Kanpur is 77.63% which is well above the national average.Kanpur is home to several educational institutions which have made it a popular educational center. IIT Kanpur, Harcourt Butler Technological Institute (HBTI), C. S. J. M. University, Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology, and GSVM Medical College are few top colleges from the city.I feel especially bad for IITK, since it has the potential to support high-tech start ups, but it is isolated in its ambitions. But they are national or state level colleges hence nothing solid is achieved for city on local level. Hence, devastating un-utilization of human resources.Only coaching mandi was successful new venture established by young entrepreneurs few years ago.

When too Tier-I cities are now fully packed,the IT and BPO companies are turning to Tier-II cities for educated manpower and more opportunity of growth. Many Indian cities have already established themselves in software and call center businesses, and it is too late for Kanpur to enter this race. Kanpur could be an especially bright prospect for industries in areas such as Electronics, Photonics and Biotech (because it has been an industrial base in the past,and because of its proximity to research institutes like the IITK, IITD, ITBHU, DRDO, HAL etc.)...which unlike software are not yet well established in India. But no place can lure industrialists with a 10 hour power outage a day.

The problem is power, water, transportation etc. will all have to drastically improve and huge amount of investment is required. Where do we get the money from ? (unless the govt. takes action immediately); Subsidiary problem like Road and Airport also exists here. Highways are slowly building and CNG buses has reduced air pollution level. Flights to Delhi were started but was closed because of lack of passengers. Air Deccan closed its service and Indian cricket team still travels by road from Lucknow airport to Kanpur for cricket matches. Airport is not to worry fact for Kanpuriyas. Hum nahi Badlenege attitude at its zenith...

I was saddened by reading this stanza on a social networking website about Kanpur. It quotes -"Does any Kanpuriya remember 'V.N. Prasad'? In two years he very much transformed the city from a dead city to a rejuvenating one. It was he who started vision 2010 involving citizens and leading industrialists. Suddenly Moti Jheel was a favorite place to spend evenings and weekends. The deadly roads across the city which claimed scores of lives were re constructed. His honest approach made things possible. But within one and a half year he was transferred. 3 million plus people of Kanpur lost a battle to only say a score of politicians who got V.N. Prasad transferred from the city. Reasons? B’coz Prasad didn’t let the evil politicians get control of tenders for roads and other infrastructure projects in the city. The whole city kept shut and didn’t say a word. No amount of agitation and protest was done. Why? Because have stopped saying NO to nonsense happening to them."

In summary, Kanpur needs responsible citizens and political leaders. But do not want to spit about 'much talked, nothing done' situation of industries shutdown at Kanpur. Did anyone of us know about Aravind Adiga, the prize winning writer of "The White Tiger" ? This article was written by him in 2005 about the pollution status for TIME Magazine. Kanpur was again on the world map but for wrong reasons. Nothing has changed much since then....

Mention about Gutkha Problem in the next post....

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