Another New Year beckons us, but this one was eagerly awaited. After a forgettable 2016, the New Year is a respite for everyone. A New Year is like a new beginning. A fresh chapter where we have the power to rewrite the future for the better. A time to take on the world head on or maybe just take it easy altogether. Whatever it may be, there is no doubt that a New Year puts things into a new perspective and we try to change our lives. We make wish-lists and resolutions for ourselves. And it got me thinking…how about a New Year wish list for Chandigarh, our City Beautiful itself? Sure, it is THE most lovable place in the world but not everything is perfect (though Chandigarh comes quite close to perfection!).
So here I present to you- My Wishlist for Chandigarh 2k17
Of course, this was going to be there. And even though we might be the cleanest city at “face value”, the National surveys undertaken by the Swach Bharat mission say otherwise. Accessibility to clean public sanitation facilities, better waste management processes, a million challenges beckon our City Beautiful on this frontier.
The “shaan” of Chandigarh is perhaps the University. However, amid the non-availability of a Central University status, the University is facing one of its worst financial crunch. The situation is so dire that a 10 fold increase in the fees of University students has been recommended by the Senate which will only make the goal of Education for All, a distant dream.
The art scene in our city is at a nascent stage, with not much exposure available to performance artists. The music is limited to restaurants and clubs where audiences only prefer listening to Punjabi or Bollywood tracks. Open mics and book clubs are one off events. In 2017, I would like to see more places promoting cultural art come up and bring us at par with the likes of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore.
We may not have choking traffic like that of Delhi, but if you are someone who has been born and brought up in Chandigarh like me, you’ll attest to the fact that the traffic here has grown exponentially. With the blooming PG culture, professionals and students migrating to Chandigarh, the situation is only set to grow worse. A metro line will seriously ease the burden on our roads and of course, considerably reduce our pollution levels. (Fun fact: on an average day, the pollution levels in Chandigarh are 3 times more than the safe limit devised by the UN agencies). Need I say more?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Elante and the likes since they have brought all the world class brands to our city. But I also miss the old world charm of Sector-17 plaza- the street hawkers selling jewellery, posters of our favorite TV shows, cotton candy and what not! Also, the long walks at Sukhna Lake and the much sought after boating in the lake. But with the advent of commercialization, these places have taken a hit. Maybe some fun events at these places will have us rushing back to our old haunts!
Photo Credits: Google