A visit to Mahatma Mandir before inauguration(with photos)

A visit to Mahatma Mandir before inauguration(with photos)
By Japan K Pathak
Gandhinagar, 9 January, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi Mandir is located on the opposite direction of Gujarat assembly building few kilometers away. The central vista development work is going on in capital Gandhinagar, and while Mahatma Mandir is one end of the vista, the other end is the Gujarat assembly and secretariat complex. Between this, there are two roads and a square shaped garden in middle.

You enter into the Vibrant Gujarat campus and there’s a path way that has on its left side a real wagon of Metro train made by Vadodara based Canadian company Bombardier, and on its right side there’s a prototype of world’s first solar plane. “Made in Gujarat” is highlighted on the platform that showcases a real size wagon manufactured by Bombardier in Gujarat.

About the Solar plane: Some special polymers used in the world’s first manned solar powered airplane were manufactured at the Panoli plant of Solvay Specialties India Pvt Ltd in Bharuch. The company is the Indian arm of Belgium-based Solvay group, whose consolidated sales clocked 8.5 billion euros last year. A small set up housing prototype of solar plane highlights nothing but the company’s name. Some journalist friends have written that this Solar plane would attract the visitors, but frankly, I disagree.

Now come to middle, and lets go straight. There’s this Mahatma Gandhiji’s big Charkha over the head, and you continue to walk ahead and then there’s Mahatma Gandhi’s black statue with stick welcoming you to the exhibition complex path. On both sides of the statue there are pathways that lead you to the mega exhibition. There are three halls(temporarily made halls), one each on your left and right, and one just on the opposite side. Let’s go to left side hall, and there you can see, that the Tata company has showcased some new models of their upcoming four wheelers. One among these is the car called ‘Magic’, and it attracts good number of curious people who inquire about its price and other features. Then there are Gujarat Tourism stalls where Modhera Sun temple’s Kunda, models of wild ass, lion, wooden models of couple of famous mandirs, part of Adalaj stepwell etc are created. Alright, I skipped the hall on right hand side(where international companies had showcased their stalls) and went straight in the big (temporarily constructed) hall where Reliance, L&T, Essar, Gujarat govt PSUs etc were giving final touch to their stalls.

Recently there was a painting exhibition in Ahmedabad, created by architect Bimal Patel in which huge computer generated paintings projecting future of the city of Ahmedabad(mainly Sabarmati River Front) were exhibited. Chief Minister Modi had visited this exhibition too. Now the same large paintings are exhibited prominently at Vibrant Gujarat exhibition in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s stall. They are nice, and placed at a space that ultimately leads you to main complex of Mahatma Mandir.

Leave the mega exhibition hall and just outside on your left side there’s this huge building(not very tall, but very long) called Mahatma Mandir, where the summit will take place. I entered inside the core hall where Modi and others will address the conference. Final work was still going on involving hundreds of L&T workers and state-of-the-art machines. Outside the hall, there were some permanent plates showcasing Mahatma Gandhi’s messages. Now this was Mahatma Mandir’s one of the buildings. Construction of the other building just on the opposite side has not kicked off yet. So in that place, a huge real-size image of – how that building will ultimately look – has been placed. So you have on your left a building – nearly ready, and on your right – a real size image of the building which would be ultimately constructed there.

In the middle, there’s Mahatma Gandhi’s famous Dandi salt picking statue. Then there are small water bodies created there, and there are two tall polls with wind power turbine ont their top. In middle is a bridge that takes you to a pyramid shaped(sort of) structure. I was told that VIPs including Mr. Modi will stay in this white pyramid structure during the summit.

Some distance away on the back side of this VIP structure, there’s a long tent of GEMTOS (Global Manufacturing Technology Show).

Now interesting thing is that, leaving the one constructed building for conferences, everything other – say the exhibition halls, that two tall polls, that pyramid shaped structure, everything is temporary. Barring one structure, everything other would not be there soon after the summit is over.

Then there’s too much police everywhere. So the place would look like a business summit for few hours, but for rest of the time, the venue typically looks like the police summit.