Saturday, February 26, 2011

If It Ain't Broke . . . Don't Fix It

This is the road to the Foundation.  Left at the pile of dirt, carefully round the dead tree behind it (avoiding the gaping pit the mound is evidence of), circle the stack of bricks, duck under the low hanging lichee tree branches and emerge dusty and victorious at the office gate.

When this trail of destruction first began in Vasant Vihar months ago, I have to admit I was impressed with the heavy machinery in use. Accustomed as we are to seeing men "breaking up the rocks in the hot sun,"

it was amazing to see bulldozers and steam shovels hard at work. It almost seemed like progress.

But as the weeks dragged into months and the roads continued to be chewed up with no concern for putting them back in order so that people could walk and drive on them, it began to seem more like more of the same, only worse.

The bulldozers provide a stamp of professionalism to what turns out to be just another big PWD scam: a World Bank loan to the government of Uttarakhand to lay sewage pipes throughout the neighborhood.

Sounds good, right? Except that our neighborhood is perfectly well-served by our own individual septic tank systems. Why would anyone pay for the privilege of linking to a system that may or may not actually function when the system we already have is working fine?

But the state government has gotten the money!!! Who cares that it's a loan that will have to be repaid eventually??? There are contractors right here, right now who are more than eager to do the work that doesn't need to be done, and to share their profits with whomever it is who makes sure that their bid is the one accepted.

And the wreckage left in their wake? A new twist on the old phrase:

If it ain't broke, break it, and THEN don't fix it.


Dunu said...

aha, so you haven't heard the world bank rationale to that one!! - septic tanks cause "pollution", didn't you know? they infect your drinking water, dear me! so that's why you are getting the luxury of all those sewage pipes. then there will be more leakage. more infection oozing out. and more bucks to be made out of curing all those water-borne diseases. then GDP will go up. and all will be well with our sustainable world. god bless your ignorance, coming as you do now from an 'developing' nation.

Vibha said...

Loved the article and Dunu's comment! We have been suffering similarly due to the alleged construction for the Mumbai Monorail. I have decided, if and when it's complete, to relocate to Ghatkopar so that we get the ' paisa vasool' for all we have suffered