Dear Citizen of Gurgaon,
Greetings from Hindustan Times Gurgaon, a newspaper that you have been familiar with for the past three years. During these years, we at the Gurgaon edition of the National Capital Region's biggest newspaper have tried to serve you daily by focussing on issues about your rapidly growing ultra modern city that is home to over a million people teeming with aspirations and hope for a great future.
Gurgaon, as you know better than anyone else, is a city of the future, a millennium city that has been chosen by some of the world's biggest and most famous corporations as their address in India; and a city that attracts people from all across the country and abroad to come and live and work here.
Many of you have seen the meteoric rise of Gurgaon--the ever-increasing number of its skyscrapers, condominiums, malls, hotels and marketplaces, schools and institutions. The breath-taking growth of Gurgaon, particularly in the past decade, is awe-inspiring and is often held up as a model to emulate by other emerging Indian cities.
But that is the shiny side of the coin. Flip it over and things are quite different. Gurgaon has grown so fast that its infrastructure--whether it is the city's roads, its water and electricity supply, sewage systems and policing--has barely been able to match that pace.
Indeed, many of you who live in Gurgaon would say that the city's infrastructure lags way behind what its citizens need and that the distance between the two is ever-increasing.
Readers of Hindustan Times will remember that five years ago, long before we became the first among the biggest newspapers to launch a Gurgaon edition, we had run a series titled 'Gurgaon Collapsing' that focused on how the city's many civic, safety and governance shortcomings had pushed it to the brink of possible collapse, an eventuality that cannot even today be ruled out.
That series got us overwhelming response and support from our readers and, indeed, even spurred the administration of this City of Aspirations into action. Since then, much has happened in Gurgaon. A new municipal corporation was formed, some measures were taken to resolve the garbage disposal mess, policing was improved, and things such as streetlights and traffic management improved.
But have Gurgaon's urban problems been solved? Most of you who live there would probably say they have worsened. As more people are moving to the city and more businesses are sprouting, the infrastructure needs of a city with explosive growth have skyrocketed.
Sadly, those needs have not been matched by supply. The traffic snarl-ups, frequent power outages, dry taps, unsafe roads and parking woes are but just a few of the things that show what a mess Gurgaon is.
That is precisely why Hindustan Times thought of taking its Gurgaon drive into a higher gear. The refreshed and re-launched Gurgaon edition of Hindustan Times that you hold in your hands will be more focused on the issues that affect you. It will be a brand new edition more dedicated to the citizens of the Millennium City, which has the potential to be India's most modern.
From the front page to its city pages, Hindustan Times will now be the newspaper that will put your concerns on priority. It will be your voice, and the voice of Gurgaon.
To begin with, we have published in this edition a survey of Gurgaon's residents, asking them about their opinion on safety, sewage, power, water, roads and traffic in their city. The responses highlight the problems that beg to be addressed.
And that is where Hindustan Times' Gurgaon edition can offer to contribute-by doing in-depth stories on the various issues that affect the lives of citizens; by asking difficult questions of the administration and people in authority; by providing information, not just about utilities but also about entertainment, education, leisure and recreational options; and, by partnering you, our readers, in your quest to make this proud city one of the best in the world.
Our efforts go beyond the printed newspaper that you are holding. A special dedicated website is also being launched with the new edition of Gurgaon's HT. I would urge you to visit www.htgurgaon.com, where not only will you find more stories and information but also a platform where you can give us your views, suggestions and comments about this ongoing project to make this city truly world-class.
Thank you for your support
Editor-in-Chief, Hindustan Times