2008-2018:The Changing Face Of Pink City
On certain city roads, one can still drive beyond the speed limit without being intercepted by the traffic police. But it is very likely that in a weekâ€™s time or so, you can get a challan with a fine for the violation. If you challenge, the department will stump you with camera captured visuals.
Such smart technologies were a far cry a decade ago when TOI set foot in Jaipur with a full-fledged edition. Over the past 10 years, the sweeping transformation that the laidback tourist city has undergone is simply breathtaking. It is now Ciscoâ€™s first Lighthouse City in South Asia, set to leapfrog to a digital world, driven by automation, efficiency, and pollution-free environment.
The transition is multidimensional but captured in full by the rapid expansion of service sector and the industry that has drawn a large floating population from across the country and overseas and reshaped an identity of the city that is no more confined to only tourism, textiles and handicrafts.
Corporates like AU Small Bank, CarDekho, JCB and ventures like Mahindra World City Jaipur and Hero-Moto Corpâ€™s R&D centre have generated thousands of well-paid jobs which in turn has created demand for cars, homes, restaurants and the retail industry.
In 2007-08, people in Jaipur purchased 16,442 cars and the number in 2016-17 has shot up to 28,669. The story of this defining decade is similar in many economic and social indicators.
Five years ago, the Jaipur international airport handled 38 flights a day and today, it has almost doubled to 70 with a record passenger traffic growth of 31% in 2017. From a dozen of branded restaurants to more than 3,000 now reflects the demand that the growth of the city has created.
Now, imagine the city without World Trade Park, Pink Square Mall, Triton Mall, et al, it would be hard to escape a sinking feeling of living in a small town.
It would be hard not to mention the burgeoning hotel industry in the city. Jaipur would be the unique city in the country which has all the leading global hotel chain properties including the only Fairmont brand in the country.
Emergence of Jaipur as a wedding destination and a leading location for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) have been a major magnet for these properties. JECC, which came up in these years has proved to be bulwark for the event industry.
As the city progressed and grew both horizontally and vertically to accommodate rush of people and businesses, the need for infrastructure also increased. Although currently running on a small stretch of about 10 km, Jaipur Metro gave a new facelift to the cityâ€™s profile on the national map.
But there are several infrastructure projects that have changed the look of the city. The four-lane double storyed elevated road easing traffic flow on the highway to Ajmer stands out as unique achievement.
A decade is a long time, but the changes the city has gone through are generational. For TOI in Jaipur, the journey has been simply humbling./