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From Doon To Boom

Dehradun is getting richer, but at great environmental cost, says SAUMYA TYAGI

Tehelka Magazine, Vol 7, Issue 19, May 15, 2010

SCENIC DEHRADUN, the capital of Uttarakhand, has traditionally been celebrated for its boarding schools. Topping the ranking game was always Doon School, which counts some of the most illustrious Indians among its alumni, including Rajiv Gandhi, Vikram Seth, historian Ramchandra Guha, novelist Amitav Ghosh and NDTV’s Prannoy Roy.

But like the city itself — which saw unrestrained real estate activity after it became the capital of Uttarakhand in 2000 — the learning experience the schools today offer is nothing like what it was till the 1970s, or even the 1980s. Postmillennium particularly, they were largely over-run by commercial institutions with no other goal besides raking in money at any cost. Indeed it took barely a decade for the city to substantially lose its spatial splendour — as people, sensing capital opportunities, made a mad rush to buy property there. [more]