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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Government fails but the citizens don't

Vir Sanghvi expresses his anger in the Hindustan Times, asking:
[D]oes it make any sense for the municipal commissioner to go on television and to explain that Bombay’s drainage system is a legacy of the Raj and that it cannot cope with any more than a small downpour?

If this is so, then whose fault is it? What happens to the taxes that citizens pay? Why does nobody spend the huge tax revenues that come out of Bombay — the highest in India — in upgrading the drainage system? Each year, when the city shuts down for a day or two during the monsoons, the same explanations are trotted out. And yet, nobody does anything to improve the situation, to try and make sure that it does not happen again.

On Tuesday, hundreds of citizens lost their lives because of this negligence.
But while the administration messed up, Mumbai's people did not. As Sanghvi writes, "Even as the infrastructure — and the politicians who are in charge of it — let Bombay down, its citizens showed us what makes this one of the world’s great cities."

Sudheendra Kulkarni expands on just this theme in a column in the Indian Express, where he writes:
It has been said at the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. This too can be said: at the sight of collective hardship and suffering, every man and woman becomes a human being, a better human being, caring almost as much for one’s neighbour — or for the stranger wading through waist-deep water — as for oneself.
Kulkarni illustrates this by recounting his experiences during the rains.

Indeed, one of the common themes during disasters in India is that the government often fails to live up to their duties, while private parties take the initiative and do much of the work. Mumbai Mirror reports that a 'Damn the Authorities Movement' has sprung up in Mumbai, with citizens taking the initiative to clear up the mess and work to rehabilitate victims. The report says:
After Tuesday's deluge and the destruction it wrought, the people have begun putting their lives together again, all by themselves. They will not wait for the municipal corporation and its trucks; they don't want to know what the state government will do with the Rs 500 crore Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has sent for the city; they don't even want to approach their corporators.
Oh, and the cheque that Manmohan promised Maharashtra has arrived, and this is what the authorities plan to use it for. Meanwhile Kavitha Iyer puts together a "to-do list" in the Indian Express.

3 Comments:

Blogger Doctor Bruno said...

But while the administration messed up, Mumbai's people did not.

Who caused the tsunami-rumour-stampede

Administration or Mumbai's public....... We are to blame.... please don't shift all the blame to the govt and corporation

There are clear cut guidelines about city planning and construction laid by the govt..... we term those as useless, outdated rules and don't follow those rules...... Then we have to suffer

We can reap only what we sow

Sun Jul 31, 01:31:00 PM GMT-7  
Blogger Doctor Bruno said...

Hi Amit,

With reference to your post
Indeed, one of the common themes during disasters in India is that the government often fails to live up to their duties, while private parties take the initiative and do much of the work
The truth is that YOU EXPECT EVERYTHING FROM GOVERNMENT and NOTHING FROM A COMMON MAN

So if I happen to pass by and give you a match stick, that becomes a great help....... If I take two people from a alow lying area in my car, I become "HERO" and rediff or Indian Express carry a 2 para writeup on me.....

On the other hand, you expect your government to give you raincoats, a accomodation, heater, food and what not !!!

And once the accomodation is given, you comment on that ---obviously schools and colleges (which are often used as temporary shelters) are not made for persons to stay and there will be difficulties -- what is the use of the comment that the authorities dumped us in this school.... there is no fan .. no light...... and very few toilets

Once the food is given, there are again complaints............

When the city floods, every one immediately fault the government......... Yes the government and municipality and corporation are there to blame... but the greater part of the blame comes to the common man (including me and you)

If everyone followed the rules (often termed as unwanted) laid down by the government without bribing the officials, this would not have happened.....

For examples Schools should have one toilet for every 20 students and every class room must have a fan and tube light.. if the school had followed the rules while constructing , you and me will not blame the govt for the accomodation

There were Ponds "once upon a time"..... now we have bus terminals and flats and shopping complexes on the places meant for storage of water....... where will the water go...... it will go to the streets and inbetween rail tracks

Indiscriminate construction is obstructing the natural flow of water to the sea, say environmentalists. ''The flowing out of the Mithi river has been impeded,'' offers environmental activist and author Darryl D'Monte, as one example of excessive land reclamation. The river, winding through various suburbs before emptying at Bandra, is the city's biggest storm water drain. (This para Taken from Indian Express)

The same problem !!!!

Who is to blame........ Both people and govt........ Who should be blamed more ....... People

After all, the stampede following tsunami rumour is entirely due to people and not govt !!!! isn't it

SO why are you people bend on blaming the govt for the disaster !!!

Bruno

Sun Jul 31, 01:41:00 PM GMT-7  
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Wed Sep 16, 01:12:00 AM GMT-7  

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