17 November 2005

Bhubaneswar

It would be very cliched to say that Bhubaneswar, or sometimes unromantically acronymed as BBSR, has changed a lot since I have been claiming to live there, but still I would say it. It just doesnt stop surprising me. It happens the moment I step out of the train. The station is new once more however as unclean as ever. Thanks to ECoR Bhubaneswar is trying hard to be a major terminus but it is yet to even become a junction, nevertheless plenty of seemingly empty trains pass to places earlier connected only uncomfortably by road. All the shining new trains have proudly been painted ECoR. The outer part towards the 'New Capital' now sports a tall covered pavillion where the passengers disembark from the taxis. Further down the reservation complex is also spankingly new (however the touts are the same old ones). The haggling with the cycle rickshaw wallah reveals that prices have touched new highs. Janpath is wearing a new look. Big new cars, Large shopping stores have sprung and then I see CitiBank. The 'New Capital' of Bhubaneswar once the citadel of leftists has travelled a long way and globalisation is trying hard to claim Bhubaneswar. My home and the surroundings have changed little. Moving around in BBSR has become difficult as distances have multiplied with the city breaking all shackles and also the little public transport it had in the form of Buses( from Vani Vihar to Lingaraj) have vanished and replaced by 'share autos' which carry ou only a kilometre of so and then you change the into yet another auto. The other option is ofcourse'Reserve auto' which is exhorbitantly expensiveby any standards and since there are no fare charts the fare depends on your haggling capacity. Few things can be said about infrastructure or civic amenities. But the thing that can be said about it is that finally it is a city a claim which quite a few people have been denying it.
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