Vijay Phanshikar :
THE poster put up by MahaMetro two years ago urging people to bear the inconvenience temporarily for a good time later still rankles in the mind. There is no animus about the poster or its message in the loosefooter’s mind, though. Yet, the problem is that on most occasions, the authorities tend to take the people for granted -- not for a few days, but for long years -- and do little to improve conditions of the roads or other public facilities. And that hurts -- deep down. And so the question (for a third week in a row): Who messed up my city? Let us understand what is all this is about: The people of Nagpur are good and patient and tolerant enough to wait for developmental cycle to come full circle (in a positive sense).
So, for not just for months but also for years they bear with the administration whose speed of work on most project is not more than that of a snail. So, there are some roads or other public facilities that are under making for interminably long periods. And there are some roads that are so full of terrible pot-holes that nobody can avoid getting bumped in those every moment of usage. Let us take the example of the Central Bazar Road from Janata Chowk to the 11-story Jai Kalpana building. Because that is likely to be taken up for concreting, the authorities seem to have abandoned it totally from any type of care. At least five years have passed but the authorities have had no time and inclination to take care of this patch on an important road that is lined by a prestigious hotel -- Centre Point -- a newspaper office -- Tarun Bharat -- and several hospitals. The people keep expecting some work to be done on this road tomorrow if not today, or the day after or some day soon. But nothing happens.
The authorities have slipped into a determined slumber not to be woken up by anything. It may be a good idea, possibly, to invite the only honourable union minister in Nagpur to ride a two-wheeler’s pillion and ‘enjoy’ the lunar-surface ride on this patch of road. That may perhaps lead the gentleman to blast the authorities and have the repair work started immediately. The loosefooter is not joking. For, he -- like thousands of others -- is a troubled man. And he knows that the city of Nagpur has hundreds of such spots that are waiting for some care for years -- though without luck. Why is this mess?
Who is responsible for this? And what are we going to do with those who have caused the people so much trouble? Let there be no mistake here -- that the loosefooter is not interested only in pointing to flaws. For, on countless numbers of occasions, he has described the city’s beauty spots, too, in glowing terms, and traced its history like even historians have never done. But inveterate rambler on city roads that he is, the loosefooter finds it extremely galling to put up with the huge nonsense in the name of civic governance. Hence the question -- for the third week in a row. He is also aghast -- like lakhs of other Nagpurians -- that even the respected judges of the honourable High Court at Nagpur do not realise that they, too, are required to use the same dirty, filthy, pot-holed roads -- and therefore must do something in this regard. Cannot a judge be a mover of a public interest litigation on his own, as a complainant?