While they are busy applying cream and powder to make the City presentable to the world in October (CBD 2012) an disturbing thought crossed my mind.
The GHMC will manage to account for the Rs.125 Crore it received for sprucing up Hyderabad for the world leaders, but how could one keep our commonplace issues from the discernible eye of the foreigners? They are not in the purview of the GHMC or the government, as it comes under the ‘civic sense’ and local culture.
What are they?
Let us suppose a Liang-Su from Singapore has decided to take a trip to the famed Charminar. What are the sights that provide him an eyeful en route?
After he leaves the hotel in Gachibowli or Banjara Hills, he will realise in a few minutes that he has taken a suicidal move. He will say prayers in silence as he sees different wheels — from push cart to Porsche — competing with one another while pedestrians run across like a rabbit or trot like a fox. His chauffeur, he will see for his horror and relief, nose ahead of red signal and gives a honk as he pleases. The driver, a bearded young man in a fashionable T shirt, would swear in his native tongue at the lesser mortals in Maruti or bike to keep off when the royalty is in visit.
Su will wrinkle his nose at the unsightly view of men opening their zips and unloading at the wall along the road.
The Singaporean dignitary will also have the privilege to see people coming and dumping steaming waste on the unoccupied niche at the corner and it is promptly pounced on by street dogs with delight.
He will wonder at the tuk-tuk they call auto-rickshaw that comes like loose cannon aslant the street, and the driver thrust one leg out like a peeled banana to indicate he is turning, and take a maddening swerve to join the main traffic, giving an honest driver a bloody jab at his heart. If the honest driver is weak- hearted he rather keep the number 108 handy. All along, Su will wonder how the tuk-tuk maintains its own rules. He will learn how free a country India is. He will also realise the auto drivers are the most free people with a will and leave to spit along the way, not to bath for months , not to wear the auto driver’s shirt and pack his tiny vehicle with passengers like sardines in tin.
As Su watches the crowded streets where parking is ‘as you please’ and the miserable traffic cop at the corner collect tenners on the sly, he will make a note of all in his mind to blot after reaching his beautiful, sterilized home. As he thought he has seen all comes the jolt.
n The cab reaches Charminar and Su who had kept his camera ready was suddenly dejected. The marvelous Charminar that looks lovely in photograph was partly blocked by ugly structures and shops. For all this troubles! He wondered, and swore an oath at the City Fathers.
Listen, City Fathers
If you don’t want to be cursed at, here is the solution, belated though, will prove a boon not just to the visitors but to the ill-treated tax-paying citizens of Hyderabad.
Of the Rs.125 Crore you plan to squander, you immediately commission four solid waste treatment plants in four directions of the city. Dirt treated, not removed, will give City a natural glow. This will also curb mosquito menace and give relief to the poor suffering people around Jawaharnagar.
Try not to remove but preserve the trees which are on roads. Preserving is an art and it saves many years of labour. Roads can well be planned keeping the trees, the road you plan is not Express highway.
Put a heavy penalty on the litterers (I suggest start it from Jubilee Hills where the Shakers and Movers live) and have the guts to tell them they can’t help punishing the littering because it is implemented by the committee called ‘Eco-terrorists’ who will not listen to messengers of god.
Many visiting dignitaries will be writing about their Hyderabad experience later online and in print. I recall a blog a German scribbled in his blog after his visit to Hyderabad in connection with his tour and travel business. “All roads are perpetually in festive mood. Full of men and machines, each contributing as much carbon as possible. All weirdos. And for the traffic rules? “ Gosh! Oh! Gosh.”
That would suffice your Worshipful Mayor!
The writer works for Postnoon
About the Author (Author Profile)
PK Surendran is senior editor at Postnoon.