Thursday, November 23, 2017
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ramlilla

Allahabad right now is in the midst of Dussehra and Durga Puja celebrations.The Puja pandals are tastefully decorated and the Ram Dals  have already started moving on our rotten roads through the waterlogged areas as well. There is suspense.

Will electricity supply be sustained? Or suddenly it will play the truant, plunging the whole illuminated areas in darkness? As it is, the illuminations this year have been on a low key. The wet poles and the pools surrounding some electricity installations could be scaring the decorators to go near such dangerous spots.

pandal

The authorities concerned with the repair and maintenance of roads have betrayed us once again. Ram or no Ram, Durgama or no Durgama—they seem to be least concerned about the necessity of ensuring smooth roads, especially in areas through which the Dals have to pass. They do not seem to realize that when the chowkies would suffer jerks and jolts , the artistes perched on them will undergo acute inconvenience. They cannot change the postures in which they are supposed to make an appearance and keep still. If these officials have defiantly ignored the 15-day ultimatum given by a Minister and a State secretary, how can they be expected to listen to the common man. But now it is neither the minister, the official nor the public whom these grossly inefficient  maintenance staff are annoying. They are angering the Gods and Goddesses. It is the belief of devotees that Laxmi comes to the most clean and well illuminated house on Diwali day. Allahabad is supposed to be the King of pilgrimage centres.  From a King it has been reduced to a Kangaal. From Raja to Runk—that is what Prayagraj has become, thanks to the mismanagement, callousness and deafness of all those who were supposed to take care of the city but have betrayed it completely.

And if there is a downpour of the velocity and magnitude we encountered recently, then everything may go with the wind, washed away by the torrential rain. Lets pray that God will be merciful on His Devotees because we are not responsible for the chaos. We have been persistently exposing it and demanding remedial action which is not forthcoming from a paralysed administration.

And what if there is a fire?

And one shudders to think what will happen if an accidental (or terrorist-planned) fire takes place and it spreads. Is the Jal Sansthan ready to cope with it? Its pipelines are broken, battered and  dry. It is unable to ensure even normal supply to citizens. Its tube-wells won’t work in case there is power failure. The fire hydrants embedded on roads have been long forgotten. Aren’t we indeed sitting on a powder keg of threats from all sides? What if the enemy’s sleeping modules decide to attack? They will probably send a letter to Jal Sansthan, telling them, ‘Thank you” because there would be no water to douse the flames once they engineer a deadly blast.

 

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