Going high on world class city

S.Madhusudhana Rao

World class city is the new buzz word in the two Telugu states. Having lost Hyderabad to Telangana, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s talk of building a world class capital city is well known. We have to wait a few more years to see the pride of Andhra Pradesh to rise on the banks of Krishna River. When it is completed, we don’t know whether it will be an envy of the neighbouring state.

Nevertheless, the chief ministers of both the states are vying with each other to outsmart each other in projecting an existing capital and the yet-to-be built city on a wide screen in technicolour.

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S.Madhusudhana Rao

Charms of Hyderabad are well known not only in India but also in many other countries. Many families in Islamic states have matrimonial ties with Hyderabadis. National Geographic has recently named the City of Nawabs as the second best tourist destination in the world. From monuments to heritage structures, from parks to glizy shopping malls and from food to bangles and pearls, everything is an attraction to visitors. But all these can be savoured only during the day and after 9 or 10 pm, most of the activities are put to bed.

Active travelers who love night more than day (as they will be busy attending business meetings or shopping exotic things and antiques), Hyderabad has little to offer compared with say, Mumbai, or bustling capitals in the West. That’s what the Telangana government feels and many visitors from other countries share this perception. To make the night life more colourful and peppy, as Hyderabad is expected to become an international city in the near future, the KCR government is reported to have been planning new initiatives to add ‘zing’ to the city’s night life.

Among the measures are more pubs and bars, microbreweries to fulfill the demand and wishes of cocktail aficionados and … female bartenders. All these night joints are to be kept open beyond midnight goes without saying once the Telangana government gives the green signal to the new makeover bid. Besides giving the expected –and needed—boost to tourism, the new move can keep the government’s till ringing in the night too.

This is a bonanza for many tourists. But what about local residents, particularly the techies, whose weekends don’t pass without bar visits? Do they have to be extra careful of cops prowling around roads to catch the drunken drivers? Surely, yes. Police say they will apprehend only those who fail the breathalyzer test; others will be allowed to go. Well, once they insert the apparatus tube in the suspect’s mouth (done crudely, of course), there is no way for the person to know what’s the permissible limit of alcohol in the blood and the cops could deal with the suspect in whatever manner they choose.

An ironic twist to the cocktail of making Hyderabad a world class city is collection of fines from drunk drivers can multiply and unwittingly add more revenue to the police department. Is it not a spin-off benefit?

In contrast, in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, there is no city that is comparable with Hyderabad, at least now. The two major cities in that state Vizag and Vijayawada and its twin Guntur can hardly boast of an upmarket bar. Only when the new capital city takes off the ground and new hotels dot the skyline, can the people in the region hope to see, hip…! world class bars and clubs. In this respect, little Chandrababu Naidu could do to outsmart his rival.

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