Sunday, November 12, 2006

In Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad is a very different place now. The roads are better and there are some fancy-looking malls. But the pollution remains overpowering and deadly.

So what's new: Gallops Mall - a fancy mall with stores like globus and lifestyle (both all-lowercase names) and a nice food court. Expensive food - Vishalla is at Rs. 215 per person for dinner, and the cheapest Honest pau bhaji is Rs. 55. Science City - a big campus near Sola Village with 3D IMAX and musical fountains that aren't as big as Bellagio's but pretty impressive nevertheless, especially when they play "Dola re dola" and "Kehna hi kya". Golf courses - Krish promises to take me to one this week. Fancy gym equipment @ Karnavati Club - treadmills with built-in TV sets, for example.

The Ahmedabad city limits have been extended recently quite a bit. All of the Satellite Road area and several other villages around are all within the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) limits now. The revenues have gone up too - octroi alone fetches the AMC Rs. 1.5 crore a day... maybe even more. Since the roads have been broadened, there is very little traffic congestion - at least in the "new city".

Every year there is a new major tragedy/story that people talk about. In years past, it was the flood, the earthquake and so on. This year, it was the turn of chickunguniya, the mosquito-borne disease that hit pretty much every household, and hard. It killed many many people because doctors didn't know how to treat it and aggressively prescribed antibiotics that further ended up damaging the kidneys and the liver.

My two sisters and dad are still recovering from it. It was pretty bad. Add dengue to the mix of other water borne diseases and the picture looks very scary. Its high time, people start learning about cleanliness. We have got to do something about that after improving our infrastructure.
It seems the cleaner the houses, the higher the chances of getting chickunguniya. Sounds very fishy, but that's what I was told.

I think these diseases like chickunguniya may need more work to fix beyond standard cleanliness drives.
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