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