Viewpoint
 

Media issues and comments received

We will only publish anonymously unless you approve your name being used.

Below is what was said BEFORE and AFTER CUND 2007 held on 18 September 2007.

You might also care to look at the condition of Nainital before CUND 2007 and the history of Nainital

 AFTER CUND2007 

My family are visitors to the Kumaon Region for the past 30 years. Nainital has been always close to us. Visits to Nainital had become fewer by the year- largely due to its ruination caused in the name of  modern day tourism, that murdered  its ecology, choked its lake, and trashed its civic amenities. ......Till we visited it last week .... and saw the most pleasant change in its environment !!!

I then also read an article on Pg 5 in y'days Hindustan Times, and realised what wonderful work is being undertaken by Nainital Lake Region Special Area Development Authority, and how much more we can hope to soon see from a collaborative Solid Waste Management Project with an NGO aimed at making Nainital a garbage-free Zone Congratulations and good wishes  to this effort.

Hoping that many such models get replicated in so many urban ghettos dotting our Metros in the rest of India-where despite infinitely more facilities,- yet such excellent initiatives at Solid Waste Management remain mere words or notings in official files.

May 2008.

 
   
 

BEFORE CUND2007

What residents of Nainital said

"I have lived in Nainital most of my life. I have seen the town going from bad to worse and I would like to help the town grow better."
We heartily appreciate your concern for saving Nainital. your efforts are indeed inspiring thousands to come with the course.

The city of Nainital as you know have been founded with much care for native ecosystem. but for today's mad rush for material development, it has lost its charm to an extent that will take long years to get back to its original state.

If we fail to take preventive steps at this stage also than there is no hope for resurrection. the first task is to conserve natural forests up hill. only the oak variety of forests above the aquatic system of the city can save its future. second is to make all efforts to recharge underground coming rain water. third, pollution of the lake needs to be cleared. social auditing at local level can ensure this.

We are all with your great efforts.
Congratulations everyone for this great idea and bringing it to the level of realization. Its commendable! !
 

People have plenty of ideas and can discuss them in length over a simmering tea with Ann daa, Pann daa, Kann daa and other daas sitting at talli tal or malli tal. But taking initiative requires true courage. Remco daa has stirred the conscience of Nainital vaasis and seems his infectious enthusiasm is spreading across the every household of Nainital.

 
Since this great drive is taking place can I suggest if we can add tree plantation as well to this drive? May be some slogan like - 1 man 1 tree can be derived and brought into action. I think guidance from forest department and geological departments of the "digri" college can help in identifying places where plantation can be done or must be done.

Hemanshu Joshi

AN EXTRACT

..........................Now, when you will visit here you will find all these catch pits badly choked with soil, detritus (leftovers of illegal construction) and huge amounts of polythene bags. We citizens of this town share most of the blame for that because we throw plastic bags carelessly just about anywhere we wish to. That along with detritus is washed away directly into the nullahas by rain water and gets deposited into the catch pits. .................

So, for you motivating the people to help them keep their own town clean could be a great challenge. Besides, officials here take up developmental activities turning a blind eye to the fragility of this hill station. You will see how in Mallital area cement and concrete has covered the otherwise porous ground in the Flats area near the Naini Lake.

Besides, equally in bad shape are the rare heritage bungalows, churches etc left behind by the enterprising and imaginative British (though they built these heritage buildings and infrastructure to suit their colonial interests, these speak volumes of how honest they were to their work).

To cut the long story short, it's a highly mismanaged town.

READ MORE

 

Indeed it is a delight to hear that Nainital Municipal Board is also observing the day as clean up day. This is very important step as entire and sustained responsibility is theirs.  

Secondly the federal government is planning  to execute JNNURM  through them. So they need a true advisory to suggest them that how funds should be used. Rs. 500 Cr, is not a small amount. We will have to do good home work to get them in proper channel.  

The first things is to ensure NDTs presence with good advice and alternatives and for that  peoples concern followed by peoples movement as pressure group is must.  

You will find in the name of privatization the municipality has installed bad hoardings

Nainital is passing through a growing and trying phase. A critical mass of concerned citizens is forming and manifesting in positive action after a phase that ‘in retrospection and with the advantage of hindsight’ has been rather callous.

The administration that we blame for what is wrong is not faceless. Almost all of them are those that live with us in this town. The Administration has an immense responsibility, time and again it has faltered, but when you look at it, it is tired and can only be brought back to deliver with public support and positive pressure. It is the ‘Urban Local Bodies’, that comprise of Local Elected Representatives, that need to be addressed seriously, as they too are responsible for a lot that can be set right.

A  campaign amongst schools of the Nainital Lake District to document the intangible heritage of this Lake District. These memories, folk songs, mythology, oral traditions need to the salvaged before they are lost to be forever sung only by the weeping willows around our lakes.

And there is lots more that is beginning to happen….Aeration of the Naini lake, Biomanipulation in the Naini Lake in order to revive the indigenous fish species, the famous Mahaseer. A solid waste management project is on the cards. Miles of sewer lines have been upgraded. These are beginnings... All of us need to contribute to making the above mentioned Government Sponsored Projects succeed. Better to do that than wait for these efforts to fall apart for some reason or the other, our own cynicism being one of them.

Whenever I come across any discussions on improvement of Nainital, few things just cross my mind and sometimes I express them and sometimes they just keep sitting deep inside me . 

1.Reducing congestion - This is the crux of all ills. If this can be taken care of then half of the battle is won.

Development of alternative planned townships at Baldiakhan/Patwadangar, Jeolikote/Gethia and Khurpatal can greatly reduce the influx to the town.

As all of these places are within 10-15 kms from the town ,a dedicated local bus system to and from the town with a dedicated car parking  at these subtowns can do wonders to the place.

 2.Bypass - Traffic bypass from Baldiakhan to Khurpatal can greatly reduce the volume of traffic to Nainital.

 3.Disciplining locals - Most of the chaos in the town is due to undisciplined locals out there. Running around in cars on the mall road which was at one time a walker's paradise has ruined the tranquility. If locals can be made to abide the traffic rules , tourists will always fall in line.

In a small town as Nainital ,garbage disposal should not be  a problem if local authorities are monitored properly.

 4.Dedicated no traffic zones  - This may be contested that it is not possible , but whoever contests , make a list of these persons and send them to a hill station Matheran in Maharashtra, around 70 kms from Mumbai.

Around 5 kms away from the town limit ,there is a barrier ,even the mobikes are not allowed onwards from this point .You can only walk or hire a pony and once you reach the place , you are amazed by the silence and beauty ,even though there is no water body out there.

Even in late 70's in Nainital there were only rickshaws and few (yes few , around 15 to 20 vehicles )in the town and still everyone was happy.

Why not an additional tax on vehicles (congestion tax),but again the locals will be the first ones to howl, as it will dilute their privilege to "show off."

"It is a fashion in the hills to walk and not to drive"

Just ask them when their father and grandfather merrily walked from Tallital to Mallital ,hardly a distance of 1.4 kms, what prevents them now. With times, has the distance increased to 4.1kms.

No Sir, That is not the case!!

If they do not move around in that 1.4km distance in their SKODAs, HONDA CITYs, WAGON Rs ,SCORPIOs and SANTROs (mercy,mercy)then how will the others know that they have risen up in life.

Even till date whenever I visit Nainital , I feel ashamed to even hire a rickshaw ,as it makes me feel complexed as to "have I rusted with time".

 5.Plastic bags - this was seriously implemented once in early 2000 , but am not sure why it cannot be done now. We always used to carry jute bags or cane baskets ,to buy our vegetables.Why cannot it be done now.

Nainital is a hen laying golden eggs for, local hoteliers, residents,and tourist ,savour the beauty and let it not be killed out of greed.

 Dear Remco , just ensure that this does not remains a media stunt but should turn into a movement which should rejuvenate a deserving town gone astray.

 "Today, Barron must be feeling restless in his grave,we have to make him RIP."

Arvind Upreti