The title of the article is – Ludhiana: A chill pill for a city choking on ‘affluenza’.
Ludhiana has been selected as one of the 20 cities to be converted to a smart city. The city famous (infamous??) for its high end big cars will now have to shift to bicycles under the smart city plans. In many ways this takes the city back to its past as at one time bicycles was the way for most to travel. Even more interesting is the fact that Ludhiana was actually a bicycle manufacturing hub :
Labels like ‘Bicycle hub of India’ and ‘Manchester of India’ may have defined Ludhiana for long, but the city that was built on the pillars of entrepreneurship seems to have finally got its due. After all, it’s been chosen ahead of many other cities in North India, including Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh, for development as one of 20 smart cities.
This rapidly growing urban region is home to some of India’s oldest business families, key manufacturing and export units, educational and medical institutions and a large floating population of skilled and unskilled workers from neighbouring States.
But being among the country’s wealthiest cities comes with its own set of unique challenges. Every luxury car maker has an address in town. The city has the one of the widest footprints of car dealerships in the country and is among the top 20 cities in terms of car sales. Big, flashy cars are an indelible part of the city’s cultural lineage –– but, unfortunately, it also makes Ludhiana one of India’s top ten most polluted cities.
That’s pretty ironical for a city that makes over 1 crore bicycles a year.
But Ludhiana’s smart city proposal envisions making it the “most bicycle-friendly city” and has set the ambitious target of doubling the share of bicycles on the roads by 2020.