The report is based on the evolution of Bhopal and the main aspects being covered are related to the Transportation system of Bhopal which links the city in a way making it easily accessible from every nook and corner and also the Environment which was affected by the Gas Tragedy which took place long time ago but till now has its adverse impact on the city.
History of Bhopal is one of the oldest in India and this city has a glorious past. The history of Bhopal narrates tales of interesting, heroic and amazing incidents. Bhopal takes pride in its excellent blend of Islamic and Hindu cultures. Various dynasties have ruled the city over the years, contributing to its architectural and historical richness.
The history of Bhopal starts with its foundation by the Parmara King Bhoj (1000-1055), who had his capital at Dhar. The city was initially known as Bhopal named after Bhoj and the dam (`pal`) that he is said to have constructed to form the lakes bounding Bhopal. The fortunes of Bhopal rose and fell with that of its reigning dynasty. As the Parmaras declined in power, the city was destroyed several times and finally faded away into obscurity.
Bhopal has an average elevation of 499 metres (1637 ft). Bhopal is located in the central part of India, and is just north of the upper limit of the Vindhya mountain ranges. Located on the Malwa plateau, it is higher than the north Indian plains and the land rises towards the Vindhya Range to the south. The city has uneven elevation and has small hills within its boundaries. The major hills in Bhopal comprise of Idgah hills and Shyamala hills in the northern region and Arera hills in the central region.
It has two very beautiful big lakes, collectively known as the Bhoj Wetland . These lakes are the Upper Lake (built by King Bhoj) and the Lower Lake. The catchment area of the Upper Lake is 361 km² while that of the Lower Lake is 9.6 km². The Upper Lake drains into the Kolar River. The Van Vihar National Park is a national park situated besides the Upper Lake.
Bhopal has a humid subtropical climate, with mild, dry winters, a hot summer and a humid monsoon season. Summers start in late March and go on till mid-June, the average temperature being around 30 °C (86 °F), with the peak of summer in May, when the highs regularly exceed 40 °C (104 °F). The monsoon starts in late June and ends in late September. The average temperature is around 25 °C (77 °F) and the humidity is quite high. Temperatures rise again up to late October when winter starts, which lasts up to early March. Winters in Bhopal are mild, sunny and dry, with average temperatures around 18 °C (64 °F) and little or no rain. The winter peaks in January when temperatures may drop close to freezing on some nights. Total annual rainfall is about 1146 mm (46 inches).
Bhopal has been a railroad and highway transportation hub for a long time. Bhopal has its own city bus service: Bhopal City Link Limited(currently stopped), which operates larger Star Buses, which are under GPS navigation and smaller Metro Buses. In addition, around 600 mini-buses are run by private operators. Metro or Radio Taxis and auto-rickshaws are another major means of transport. In some parts in the old as well as new city, the new Tata Magic Vans are running successfully and have replaced the older and bigger diesel rickshaws — known as “Bhat”.
Bhopal is also implementing a “Bus Rapid Transit System”, projected to become functional from the year 2011.
Apart from the long distance services, there are many services to nearby places within the state. The bus services are operated from 8 major bus stands in the city:
ISBT Terminal, Kasturba Nagar (to be functional from 2010)
Naadra Bus Stand, Old City
Jawahar Chowk Stand
Halalpura Bus Stand
Bharat Talkies Stand
Jyaneshwari Bus Stand, South
Piplani Bus Stand, East
Ayodhya Nagar Bus Stand
National Highway 12 passes through Bhopal which connects it to Jabalpur in the East and Jaipur in the West. National Highway 86 connects Bhopal to Sagar in the East to Dewas in the West. State Highway 17 connects the city with Indore. There are number of daily buses to Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khajuraho, Sanchi, Pachmarhi, Vidisha, and as well to Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Kota, Nagpur, Jaipur, Agra, and Allahabad. An interstate bus terminus is near the Habibganj station.
On April 21, 2010, a panel was set up for Bhopal Metro Rail.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will carry out a survey to explore the possibility of running metro rail service in the city and will give a feasibility report soon to Madhya Pradesh Urban Administration Department (MPUAD).
The DMRC will complete the survey in six months for which it has received an amount of Rs 50 lakhs.
Bhopal lies in the West Central Railway Zone. Considering both North-South and East-West train routes, it is one of the best-connected city in India. Following are the railway stations in Bhopal:
Bhopal Junction Railway Station is the largest and most important railway station in the city. Being on the main North-South line, it is connected by rail to all parts of the country except North-Eastern states. More than 150 daily trains have stoppages in Bhopal.
Habibganj Railway Station is a major and the most developed station of Bhopal. It holds the distinction of being the first ISO 9000:2001 certified railway station in India.
Misrod Railway Station is located in the Misrod suburb of the city.
Mandideep Railway Station is located in the industrial town of Mandideep.
Bairagarhis located in the north-western Bairagarh suburb.
Nishatpura railway station
The Raja Bhoj Airport is located near the satellite suburb Bairagarh and has flights to most major cities in India. Expansion of the airport is underway to convert it into an international airport.
There are three routes ways to reach the airport:
(1) Via Bairagarh,
(2) Via Panchvati,
(3) Via Mahavir Tekri (also known as Manuabhaan Ki Tekri).
According to the 2001 census the total Bhopal population is about 1,458,416.
The population consists of 71% Hindus and 24% Muslims, with the rest of the population including Christians, Sikhs, Jains, and, Buddhists.
The Old City of Bhopal is a predominantly conservative but New Bhopal is a demographically cosmopolitan area.
The chief languages are Hindi/Urdu (Hindustani) and English, but there are a substantial number of Marathi, Sindhi, Marwari speakers as well.
Places of interest
A few of the places of interest in Bhopal include
Upper Lake : The largest artificial lake in Asia.
Lake View : A stretch of road on the shore of the great or Upper Lake. It is a popular joint for people of all age groups, especially young. The road continues into Van Vihar National Park. The Boat Club is also located here and the club organizes national level water sporting events.
Van Vihar National Park : A zoological park with the status of a national park, it is situated south of the Upper Lake.
New Market : A shopping and commercial zone in the city housing a number of eateries, restaurants, cloth shops and showrooms, bakeries, mobile stores etc.
Taj-ul-Masjid : It is one of the largest mosque in Asia and is also used as a madrasah
Lal Parade Ground: The Independence Day and republic day parade are held in this ground. It is also the venue of large gatherings.
Museum of Natural History
Manbhawan ki tekri : A Jain temple, situated on a hill cliff, this place is popular for the scenic views it offers of the city below. A rope-way has been installed and people also have the option to reach the spot on foot.
Libraries :A number of libraries are operational including the regional library and Swami Vivekananda Library (formerly British Library)
On December 3, 1984, a Union Carbide Corporation pesticide plant in Bhopal leaked around 32 tons of toxic gases, including methyl isocyanine gas which led to the worst industrial disaster to date. The official death toll was initially recorded around 5,000. Many figures suggest that 18,000 died within two weeks, and it is estimated that around 8,000 have died since then of gas-poisoning-related diseases. The Greenpeace organization cites a total casualty figure of 20,000 as its own conservative estimate. The Bhopal disaster is often cited as the world’s worst industrial disaster. December 3 is annually observed as the official day of mourning, and every year, all government offices in Bhopal remain closed on this day.
Impacts of the tragedy
The two ICMR projects on histopathology and toxicology have more than fulfilled the initial hopes and expectations. The sequence of pathological changes in the acute, sub-acute and chronic stages has been clearly delineated. Structurally, continuing respiratory impairment in a proportion of cases resulted in progressive pulmonary damage, including desquamate pneumonitis, fibroins alveoli is, or its variants, like DIPF and GIPF.