Of habitual broken promises
   Date :24-Feb-2022

By Vijay Phanshikar :
BY NOW, the people of Nagpur have got used to hearing tall claims and big promises being made -- and then habitually broken or forgotten, as if nothing of that sort had ever happened. They also have got used to seeing massive projects going actually waste only because the authorities -- that includes political leadership as well -- just stopped taking care of many projects or being attentive to the management of those projects once the launching is over. The city of Nagpur is full of such failed or fake projects. Of course, the loosefooter continues to refer to the failed project of MIHAN. He does recognise that some good things have happened in MIHAN, all right. But he cannot overlook the other part of the sad reality that most of the promises made as regards MIHAN have NOT been kept, or broken brazenly, or hoped that the people would forget those. Initially, the people did expect that those tall promises would be fulfilled at least in part, if not fully. But even that modest expectation has not come true.
Now, the people just shrug their shoulders and get going with their tasks. Internally, however, every Nagpurian knows fully that MIHAN has not delivered and that the authorities have taken the people for a ride. Many business enterprises came to MIHAN in the first flush, but many of them did not even break ground, but kept controlling vast properties allotted to them. Years passed and the authorities woke up and took an apology of remedial action. But none of the enterprises who ditched the administration was actually and fully taken to task -- in a true sense. What was done was nothing but a sham in the name of ‘action’. Now also, in MIHAN there are enterprises that still hold on to the huge allotted properties without much sensible activity on the premises -- and the authorities are smug about all that. If this is what project management is, then we must conclude that we are singularly unfortunate to have been saddled with such an administration that has no respect for its own word. Such mockery! Such brazenness! Oh! But then, this has been the style of the authorities in Nagpur.
The city is dotted with such projects -- half done, and left to god’s mercy. Let us take just two examples to make this point more clear: 1. Fuley Market: This huge edifice has been a massive waste, and to whatever use it has been put is nothing but a massive sham and shame. Not only is it badly managed, but has been allowed to rot due to utter neglect. What purpose it has served over decades is something that we will have to look for through a magnifying glass. Is this a successful project management? 2. Naag River Rejuvenation: This project is nothing more than an official insult of the people of Nagpur by the successive administrations over decades. So many times have the authorities announced different projects for the rejuvenation of the Naag river which is considered the signature water-body of the city. Several promises on several different occasions over long stretches of time! And the outcome is that the Naag continues to grow as a gutter of shocking size.
How many times are we to hear the nonsense in the name of promises that the authorities would ply boats in the Naag stream? How many times are we to read in the media the tall talk of creating wonderful water front where people would relax looking at the flowing stream? This is how the authorities have failed to get the Naag river rejuvenation project off the ground! Is this a successful project management? Let us come back to MIHAN. Let us remind the authorities that we are still waiting for half a million jobs in the aviation sector. We must tell them that the city’s youths are still making bee-line out of Nagpur to seek jobs elsewhere since the city cannot provide enough jobs for its young generations. Let us remind the authorities -- that include political leaders as well as bureaucracy -- that the common people in the city are still cultured enough not to explode in anger out of frustration. Let us remind the authorities that whatever they said about MIHAN has not even remained in the official record. For, half a million jobs were never recorded in official files. And that calls for reminding the authorities that they are sitting on a keg of explosives. And finally, let us keep a record of all the speeches of big shots in the city from time to time extolling the virtues of various projects generating lakhs of jobs. The one question they must reply to is: Where are the jobs?