Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Faridabad and Gurgaon - India Grows at Night

Faridabad and Gurgaon are two adjoining towns on the outskirts of Delhi. In 1979, Faridabad had an active municipal government, fertile agriculture and a direct railway line to the national capital. It also had a host of industries, and a state government that was determined to make it a showcase for the future. Gurgaon, on the other hand, was a sleepy village with rocky soil and pitiable agriculture. It had no local government, no railway link, no industries, and its farmers were impoverished. In 1979, the state of Haryana divided the old political district adjoining Delhi. It gave the better half to Faridabad; the worse half became Gurugaon.

Thirty years later, Gurugaon has become the symbol of a rising India. It has dozens of shiny skyscrapers, twenty-six shopping malls, seven golf courses, and automobile showrooms of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. It has 30 million square feet of commercial space and is home to the world's largest corporations. Faridabad remains a sad, scraggly, would-be town, groaning under a corrupt, self-important municipality.

Gurgaon's disadvantage has turned into an advantage. It had no local government, nor planning authority. It was more or less ignored by the state government until it became successful and then only as a source of graft. This meant less red tape and fewer bureaucrats who could block development in Gurgaon.

Courtesy: India Grows at Night by Gurucharan Das

No comments:

Post a Comment