Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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Allahabad damage roads

The plight of the broken and battered roads of the city is indeed a disgrace to the reputation of the once beautiful Allahabad. They also reflect the extremely low administrative control on the road-building works in the city.

And the roads are also an insult to the memory of those in whose names they are being  remembered. One of our readers from Naini, Krishna Pratap Singh, has come out with a unique but practical suggestion  that seeks to shame and  tame the contractors who have been flooding our city with horrible thoroughfares. He says: ‘For the Mahakumbh, we spent  crores. And in the short period of a few weeks , when the Mela was on, Allahabad presented a beautiful look. Broad, smooth roads greeted visitors who were charmed by this rare spectacle. In fact if Lalu Yadav had visited Allahabad in those days he would have exclaimed that Allahabad had achieved something which Bihar could not—we had turned our roads ‘as smooth as the cheeks of Hema Malini’.
Says KP: ‘I would suggest that instead of naming a new road after a prominent personality, the thoroughfare should be given the name of the Contractor who has laid it’. He says where old roads have been repaired thoroughly and over-hauled completely, the old name may continue with additional text. For instance, the road slab could read, ‘Lohia Marg alias Krorimal Contractor Road.’ He feels that if the new road, for instance is named after a Contractor whose name is Chandu or Lallu  and is  thenceforth called ‘ Chandu Contractor Road’ or ‘Lallu Contractor Road’ then these (hypothetical) contractors, Chandu and Lallu,  would not dare to build or repair the road with sub-standard material.’
But there is one point  KP would like to add. It is obvious that if Contractor Lallu or Contractor Chandu  know that the roads are to be named after them, they will make them of durable if not excellent quality. But  how can we permanently allow them to get credit for doing something for which they were paid   or which was a part of their sacred duty after having signed a contract. Hence, says KP,’ my suggestion would be: Once the road lasts for two years without a crack, it may be renamed to pay homage to some leader and the contractor’s name be written in small letters at the bottom. If that would be belittling the name of the dignitary then the name of the Contractor be painted or engraved on the back of the slab’.
KP says it would be best to tell all contractors in advance that for two years their names would be engraved and that if during this period all goes well, the original names will reappear with  their names being relegated to the background or  mentioned at the back.
The idea is fantastic. But top politicians, who want their own names or the name of their favourite legend adorn the slab, let them undertake the construction or reconstruction of the road themselves by spending their own money. They will then richly deserve to be honoured with the road name-plate. But this honour should be reserved for only politicians with a clean image. Are there very many around?

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