Saturday, October 31, 2020

Editor's Space



There is nothing understated about India’s urban thrust. Witness the recent breaking of the ground for Amaravati, the New Age Capital of Chandrababu Naidu’s Andhra Pradesh. Admittedly the name of the Greenfield city which will occupy 54,000 acres of land along the banks of the Krishna is associated with Indra’s mythological hometurf, but make no mistake – its aspirations are of a wannabe Smart Singapore, with all the modern trappings of the modern City State thrown in.


This is the New Urbania which seems to be happening across a broad swathe of India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development juggernaut of ‘100 Smart Cities’ rolls ahead carrying along other allied programmes like Make in India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat Mission…Industrial Corridors and more.


Admittedly there has been a lot of cynicism. It is not easy for a nation inured to political languor to easily slough off a past ridden with bureaucratic inefficiencies, policy hurdles and corrupt practices, all of which make the doing business atmosphere for all stakeholders of development, difficult.  But there is evidence on the ground that things are changing. Projects that have been promised are now beginning to gather steam thanks to recent policy decisions, the opening up of windows of easy approvals, not to mention the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment.


The biggest triumph has been in terms of international interest being generated for India’s infrastructure projects like the Industrial Corridors, metro rail networks for more number of cities, development of ports, roads and highways. This is sure to trigger off a wave of investments in projects around Tier II and III cities, which thus far lay outside the weltanschauung of progress.


The recent cheer heard at London’s Wembley Stadium, while certainly an expression of public support for the prime minister, is also indication that it is time now for the government to walk the development talk.                


It is easy to detect oomph gathering on the city horizon. Rampant urbanism is seen as a global megatrend and there seems to be no stopping it as more of India’s former villages and towns get drawn into its embrace. This issue features a Cover Story on how India’s new urban frontiers will brace for the Smart Cities challenge and the business opportunities it brings.  


This issue is also a celebration of sorts for CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES as its contribution as a chronicler of the happenings in the development sector finds due recognition. Early this year we were selected winner of the 7th CIDC VISHWAKARMA AWARD 2015 for BEST NEWS MAGAZINE on the strength of our editorial excellence.  


It now gives me great delight to inform you that your magazine this time has been selected to be the Official Media Partner for Bauma Conexpo India 2016 in New Delhi by the trade show organiser Messe München.


That truly is a proud moment for us. But it is also one that humbles us and makes us deeply aware of our increasing responsibility to all our readers and advertisers – and by extension the construction and infrastructure sector.  


Keep the brickbats coming along with the bouquets – there is a long road ahead of us and that would help us stay very much grounded.


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