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I came to Ahmadabad ten days back. I am staying near Karnavathi club. I used to go to office everyday morning and come back every night as everyone in corporate world. The bus will drop me in the bus point and I have to walk to the guest house where I am living. I have to cross the road to for taking that way. The situation is that I am running to cross the road everyday. There are no Zebra lines, no signals, no over bridge for pedestrians. I could see an officer in traffic police trying to stand in the middle of the road and relaxing. Because he knows that there is no point in exercising too much.

Ahmedabad, Gujarat State, India Development Model in the Last 10 years
Ahmedabad, Gujarat State, India Development Model in the Last 10 years
Read more: Village Life in India - Why Gujarat Local Governance Fails?

Girls and women often take me as a cover to cross the road. It is hard for them to run behind me to cross it. I used to show stop sign with my hand and help them cross the road. There were more than 5 times where a car or bike trying to take its chance to hit me. Yesterday a lady was crossing the road and even though I showed the stop sign, vehicles were not even slowing down. Hence I had to run and she was unable to. She got stick in the middle of the road and then I came back and helped her to cross the road. I have a doubt. Is it a crime to be a pedestrian in Ahmadabad? Is it a crime that I do not have bike or a car? Is it a crime that ordinary people do not protest against this injustice?

no Zebra lines, no signals, no over bridge for pedestrians but only smoke
no Zebra lines, no signals, no over bridge for pedestrians but only smoke

Read more: Life in villages: Land Acquisition by Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation

After I cross the road, I have to walk about half a kilometer to reach the guest house. In the night, it is hard to see the lights of the vehicle not due to darkness but of the dust. The road is not in a good shape. I am not sure that whether I can call that as road. As the vehicle pass the road, the dust just goes up and settles down in our noses and lungs. I tried to take pictures to show how dusty the road is. However I couldn't due to dust in camera.

According to World Health Organisation, Ahmadabad air is the fifth most polluted in India with PM 2.5 concentration of 100 micrograms and it has highest level of PM 2.5 concentration among Gujarat cities. I will say this kind of air pollution is a poisons inter-generational killer. It will create Asthma for the children or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other respiratory tract infections. According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) daily air quality index (AQI) list, Ahmadabad is the second worst city in India with an AQI score of 304.

Smoke coming out in road
Smoke coming out in road
We have to think is this what development really means? Is it just about making big huge nice roads without any safety measures? Is it just developing roads in high ways and leave other pocket road without proper repairing and maintenance? Is it about creating more and more huge big roads or is it about improving quality of life of individuals?

I am not against the ideas of development. But what to develop and how to develop are the issues. We have to think about how citizens of the country can make sure the government policies are made, programs and activities are implemented. Just being blind to government and believe that whatever they do is good and right for the country, will be a huge mistake which we will not be able to correct later in the course. Filing RTI petitions, using judicial ways to address the issues need to be considered. As citizens it is our responsibility to spend some amount of time for the betterment of the country.

Read more: Life in India: Case Study of villages Sanand, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

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