Saturday, February 24, 2018
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broken roads

 Allahabad has been  robbed, cheated, humiliated in recent months. And the plunderers have been the contractors, the commission extorters, the supervisors and others  who were assigned the task of renovating our roads and flyovers  in the pre-Kumbh period.

When they were on their plundering spree, we had repeatedly warned that the work being done on a massive scale was of sub-standard quality. At some places the roads were redone when they cracked even before the steamroller had finished its work to tar the surface. We had also warned that a go-slow trick was being resorted to by the repair squad because too many quality tests, checks and probes  were hampering their cheating game. We had alerted that their game was simple—to delay the work so much so that meeting the deadline would be impossible. At that stage the authorities would relax their Quality Axe and order the contractors to complete the work on the extended deadline line, come what may. And this is what happened. When even till late December the well-disguised ‘Go Slow’ continued, the authorities were compelled to relax their Quality Axe. This is what the fraudsters were waiting for. It was presumably then that the numerous frauds were committed—at top speed!. No wonder many of the repaired roads have got back their original shape --torn, tattered, battered. The  financing authorities- the state exchequer-have been robbed, the public has been cheated and the city has been humiliated in the eyes of visitors who cannot imagine how the roads, which were so smooth and shiny during the Mahakumbh have been turned into ruins so to speak. ‘Allahabad Shining’  like ‘India Shining’ was a mirage. The money that has gone down the drains also should include the expenses incurred on the inspection tours of Ministers, Chief Secretary, Secretaries of  different Departments who came and went, saw the works, condemned the delay and  departed after issuing warnings including a bombastic one –to dump into the Ganga the officials who failed to meet the deadline. They were not thrown into the Ganga, but the Ganga in anger rose in protest to punish thousands for the fault and fraud of a few.



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