RASHMI OBEROI | 24 AUGUST, 2020
Citizens left to fend for themselves
As the mayhem and chaos unfolded across the NCR, daily life ceased to exist. Once again, the monsoons have been catastrophic for us – no, let’s not blame the rains, we need them. We need to shift focus on the abysmal infrastructure and drainage systems and how there is no one that is held accountable during disasters. Slowly, things have limped back to normal or what you can define as some form of normalcy in the pathetic conditions prevalent.
It is appalling to see the lack of ownership and responsibility by the civil authorities, the state government and the ruling government with total disregard for the mismanagement. Everyone is either shrugging their shoulders or shaking their heads even more furiously (I fear they will fall off at the speed they are being shaken around!). Authorities have a knack for completely ignoring what has occurred or do what always happens in such circumstances… Pass the buck and start the blame game!
Yes it rains… Yes this happens year after year… Yes we discuss it on the every news channels and write about in in every newspaper and argue on social media and berate one and all… But when will change for betterment come about? We all need to amend our closed mind-sets…be more action oriented and take responsibility for what is happening around us. The truth is each one of us is equally responsible. Poor infrastructure, high pollution levels, badly designed roads and underpasses, low maintenance – well the list is endless.
From dumping garbage in wrong places to choked drains to lack of rainwater harvesting to illegal encroachments and wrongful construction and well our out of control population… It is all around us and yet we turn a blind eye to it. Most people brush off what is happening around as ‘something that is not of their concern’ and this is exactly where the problem lies.
Just because you have not been personally touched by a calamity does not mean that you wash your hands off all responsibilities or look the other way. On the contrary this is the time to think, plan and take action to improve our surroundings and stop the complete breakdown of everyday life.
All those that come to power and rule the roost so to say make big promises and speak of long ‘to-do’ lists which by the way are thrown in a corner as soon as they win elections. Things that need urgent attention and restructuring are pushed behind new lists that involve land-grabbing, personal income growth, freeloading on the cost of the exchequer and tax payers. Every time I hit the road – well whatever little is left to show as potholes and craters are more in fashion…. I want to know, “Where are my taxes going? Why am I paying taxes when there is no improvement in the quality of life that I lead in my ‘millennium’ city?”
Ironic isn’t it that the common people who are working hard and earning their daily bread and paying their taxes (the whole gamut of them) on time are the ones who are the sufferers. When the civil administration is ill-equipped to handle any emergency of sorts be it a natural calamity, man-made or disasters, it is only the people of the land who are going to suffer.
I am astounded that no one understands the pulse of the people or what is happening in the country on ground level. Gurgaon is drowning – from tilting houses to collapsing under-construction flyovers to submerged underpasses to people being rescued by boats and fancy condominiums dealing with gushing water in their homes/lobbies and car parks… Will anyone take onus for this? Alas, the ones who need to take policy decisions and handle the situation are only renouncing the world of all their responsibilities.
Who will hear the woes of the common people who are living on faith and prayer?