Agartala is changing fast

Rudraneel dutta

Agartala, which is the capital of India’s third smallest state i.e, Tripura, is also the 3rd largest city in the north-eastern region after Guwahati and Imphal and is currently being developed as a Smart City under the centrally administered ‘Smart Cities Mission’. Situated on the banks of the Haora river and flanked by the India-Bangladesh border on its western side, Agartala is a municipality area extending beyond 76 km² and a part of the West Tripura District. In spite of being located in a geographically disadvantageous position, the city is presently well connected to the rest of the nation by means of air routes, a railway network and by road via the National Highway 8. In the past, the city has escaped from rapid and break-neck urbanization owing to its geographical location but is presently growing at a fast pace as a tier-II City under the centrally sponsored Smart City Mission.

Agartala, which derives its name from the ‘Agar’ tree, has an uneven and undulating terrain which includes a low lying central landmass bounded by small hillocks on the southern and northern sides, thus making it prone to recurrent flooding. The area is also very earthquake sensitive, lying in Seismic Zone V which makes it unsuitable for reckless and unplanned construction of infrastructure. However, all of these factors have also helped and contributed in the growth and development of Agartala as an effectively planned city right from its initial days of being the second capital of the erstwhile Princely State of Tripura ; having been administered as a Municipality since 1874 by Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya, who always emphasized on the importance of extensive planning based on his foreign visits, the city has turned around to be the centre of almost all of the administrative, political, cultural, social and commercial activities of the state of Tripura. The development and changes in any city is dependent on a number of factors such as location, population density and composition, educational and skill level of the residents, proximity and connectivity to markets, etc.

As mentioned earlier, the city faced a number of challenges primarily influenced by its geographical location, which has historically affected its rate of growth and development ; being a part of India’s north-eastern region, connectivity had always been an issue until the construction of wider and shorter routes of National and State Highways and effective railway routes ; the extension and proper establishment of railways played a major role in the growth story of Agartala ; air connectivity has also proven to be equally effective for the prospective development of the city and its residents. Another important development was the establishment of a Land Port at the Akhaura international border, which consequently facilitated the movement of goods and services via Bangladesh in bulk. The administration of both countries requires a special mention in this regard for taking effective steps in order to smoothen the flow of goods and services through international borders ; the construction and completion of the Agartala-Akhaura international railway line will be a feather in the cap for India-Bangladesh foreign relations owing to the fact that this particular project would reduce the distance between Agartala in Tripura and Kolkata in West Bengal drastically while also establishing Agartala as an international gateway within South East Asia.

The residents of Agartala have been traditionally engaged in economic activities of the tertiary sector, such as services and retailing, and the administration is working extensively to enhance the ‘ease of doing business’ by implementing various centrally and state sponsored schemes ; the state and central administration have also undertaken a number of initiatives to promote the city as a tourism hub in order to generate revenue and create further employment opportunities for the residents within the city. A number of developmental projects is also being carried out to bring about holistic change in the city ; these include renovation and re-fabrication of roads, drainage and sewerage systems, private and public buildings, public spaces, roadside retail outlets ; construction of public toilets, parks and open gyms, parking spaces, upgradation of ponds and lakes and facilitating other infrastructure which will act as building blocks for further developmental opportunities. Thus, it would be apt to say that Agartala has come a long way in terms of development, and is presently undergoing rapid change with the turn of the millennium. A practical case in point which would prove the tide of change is reflected by the difference of fares for a cycle-rickshaw ride within the city limits, over the years ; gone are the days when an individual could travel from point A to point B with an amount less than ten rupees ; the minimum fare for travelling such short distances by cycle-rickshaws has shot up by almost 4 times in the past two decades, which goes on to show that there has definitely been a rise in the ‘cost of living’ at Agartala, which consequently proves the fact that Agartala like India is in a state of development and thus changing.

You can post your comments below  
নিচে আপনি আপনার মন্তব্য বাংলাতেও লিখতে পারেন।  
বিঃ দ্রঃ
আপনার মন্তব্য বা কমেন্ট ইংরেজি ও বাংলা উভয় ভাষাতেই লিখতে পারেন। বাংলায় কোন মন্তব্য লিখতে হলে কোন ইউনিকোড বাংলা ফন্টেই লিখতে হবে যেমন আমার বাংলা কিংবা অভ্রো কী-বোর্ড (Avro Keyboard)। আমার বাংলা কিংবা অভ্রো কী-বোর্ডের সাহায্যে মাক্রোসফট্ ওয়ার্ডে (Microsoft Word) টাইপ করে সেখান থেকে কপি করে কমেন্ট বা মন্তব্য বক্সে পেস্ট করতে পারেন। আপনার কম্পিউটারে আমার বাংলা কিংবা অভ্রো কী-বোর্ড বাংলা সফ্টওয়ার না থাকলে নিম্নে দেয়া লিঙ্কে (Link) ক্লিক করে ফ্রিতে ডাওনলোড করে নিতে পারেন।
Free Download Avro Keyboard  
Name *  
Email *  
Comments *  
Posted comments
Till now no approved comments is available.