Lines of Gurgaon – the photographs

Lines of Gurgaon
The photographs share a central theme: the electricity cables you see throughout the Millenium City Gurgaon. These lines inspired us to look for more lines, like sky lines, construction lines, security lines, shopping lines, Cyber City lines, daily life lines and bill boards representing future lines. Gurgaon barely existed two decades ago. It is the second largest city in the Indian state of Haryana, located 15 km south of New Delhi and part of the National Capital Region (NCR). The length of the district is about 21 km and the width is 27 km. According to the 2011 census, Gurgaon has a population of 1.6 million consisting of 886.451 males and 773.838 females. The literacy rate is 86.21 percent. Gurgaon has the third highest per capita income in India after Chandigarh and Mumbai. Originally, Gurgaon was a farming village who’s name means “village of gurus”, derived from the Hindu epic the Mahabharata.With its shiny buildings and galloping economy, Gurgaon is often portrayed as a symbol of a rising new India. Gurgaon is one of India’s fastest-growing city. But there is still a long to-do list: fix the roads, the sewers, the electrical grid, the drainage, the lack of water and the lack of planning. To compensate for electricity blackouts, Gurgaon’s companies and real estate developers operate massive diesel generators capable of powering small towns. For water, private borewells are drilled.

Sky Lines
Obviously Gurgaon has a magnificent sky line of new modern buildings with different architectural appearance.

Daily Life Lines
Gurgaon has an estimated 200,000 migrant workers who work on construction sites or as domestic help.

Construction Lines
Gurgaon’s growth is based on two stories which changed its future. One is the establishement of the automotive company Maruti in the 1980s. The other is when General Electric decided to oursource some business operations to Gurgaon in 1997. Moreover, in the 1990s the Government of India reformed the tax laws, thereby attracting private companies to build in Gurgaon. After the real estate developer DLF bought land from farmers and started building apartment towers, gated communities and a futuristic commercial hub called Cyber City, Gurgaon saw a massive increase in its population and economy. Many residential parts of Gurgaon are located within a numbered DLF phase.

Shopping Lines
Gurgaon has 30 million square feet of commercial space. There are over 40 shopping malls. The state administation mandated that all shopping centers and malls should be closed one day a week, on Tuesday, in order to safe electricity and help traffic flow.

Transport Lines
Gurgaon has its own Railway Station. Companies employ hundreds of private buses and taxis.

Security Lines
Gurgaon has almost four times as many private security guards as police officers. Nearly 12,000 private security guards work in Gurgaon.

Business Lines
Cyber City houses many of the world’s Fortune 500 companies, like Google, Adidas, Nestle, Philips, Coca-Cola, Accenture. Gurgaon is a magnet for India’s best-educated, English-speaking young professionals. With the presence of nearly 500 multinationals and even a higher number of Indian corporate companies, Gurgaon has a large expat population. Now Gurgaon is the new hub for expats who have come here to earn their livelihood and find the city as an attractive place to settle. As many as 700 expat families stay in Gurgaon and mingle well with Indian culture.

Future Lines
Everywhere in Gurgaon, you will find big billboards representing the future. The billboards advertise new appartment buildings, shopping centers and offices.

Sources
Wikipedia; Gurgaonsite.com; Gurgaon.nic.in; Article ‘In India, Dynamism Wrestles With Dysfunction’ published in the New York Times, 8 June 2011; Book ‘What Ever The Odds, the incredible story behind DLF’ by K.P. Singh, 2011; Book ‘Delirious Delhi’ by Dave Prager, 2011; Book ‘The Case of the Man who Died Laughing’ by Tarquin Hall, 2010; Television programme ‘I am Gurgaon: The new city in India’ produced by VPRO Tegenlicht, 28 September 2009.

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