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28 May 2007

Once upon a time

I am sure there are many benefits to the integrated townships that are planned to come up in many places in India. And I am reading about the funding options etc. But I as I track the developments in this topic, I could not help thinking about how many towns in the US of A are left empty and abandoned and sometimes even entire towns up for sale! All because the industry that supported it have disappeared since. Whether it was gold rush, or mining, or textiles, or automobiles, when factories and mines shut, the entire town and life has been lost along with jobs.

If integrated townships are built around a single industry, for instance, IT, what happens when there is a slow -down or God forbid even a complete reversal of fortunes.

It is not just integrated townships, but integrated economies and integrated communities which is required.

Then there is the issue of actual town planning as they are called townships.

I know they speak of apartments, malls, hospitals, schools, gym, playgrounds, jogging /gym/some even golf tracks and library.

Will there be temples, churches & mosques? Will there be markets and not just malls? Will they build lakes or water bodies as the Mughals and the British did? Vihar and Powai lakes still supply water to Mumbai, which and where was the last man-made lake built post-independence I don't know. I am really pained to say this, but we have not got any national parks/gardens plan either. And this may sound odd, but do the integrated townships provide for funeral and burial grounds? Old age homes,orphanages and hospices?

These are all requirements of communities.

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