Saturday, February 17, 2018
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Soon preparations will begin for the annual Magh Mela at Allahabad. The city presents as shabby if not dilapidated look as never before. This does not at all appear to be the Allahabad of our dreams, an Allahabad we had visualised would turn into a heavenly place after crores were spent for its beautification before the Mahakumbh last year.

Where has the money gone?  Won’t someone be held responsible for this massive swindle? So much of hue and cry was raised when bungling with funds was found in the arrangements made for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. All political parties swooped and pounced on the administration for the follies, the frauds, committed.  The Commonwealth Games attracted only those people who were interested in sports.

But Mahakumbh was a bigger affair attracting people from all over the world—not just Hindu devotees but also millions of curious people who were just eager   to know how such a mammoth fair on such a grand scale was being organized! No one invited abroad the organizers of Commonwealth Games to lecture on how the games were managed. But after the Mahakumbh, the startled world was curious to know how we managed such a gala show, hosting crores of visitors and sending them back satisfied, minor bruises and skirmishes notwithstanding.
But now it seems that Mela arrangements in the city were a big farce, the biggest fraud witnessed in recent times. The repair work that was done to beautify the city crumbled like a house of cards. The roads have cracked and the drainage system has gone haywire. The heavy showers during monsoon exposed the varnishing that was done in the name of solid repairs by the authorities concerned. A report published in a contemporary Hindi daily has given minute details about the damaged roads all over the city, the roads on the beautification of which crores of rupees were spent. Where has that
 money gone? Down the drain-like pockets of some of the corrupt elements  inside and outside the  administration ? We had warned against these elements when the works were on. But everyone was too busy to heed the warnings. Or was it planned that way—to allow the press to shout but to ignore its warnings?What a shame indeed.
We need a thorough inquiry. Those responsible for the fraud should not be spared at any cost. 


DM’s 10-officer committee to probe

DM Rajshekhar1

District Magistrate Rajshekhar has a multi-vision camera located in his mind. That is how he can simultaneously look into multiple problems. Sensitive to the public resentment against the crashing thoroughfares, he has constituted a team of 10 officers to survey all the roads that were dressed up for the Mahakumbh and which collapsed during the battering monsoon rains. The committee will also survey the incomplete roads and mark the manhole covers which are jutting out above the road surface. The committee has been asked to submit its report by December 15, by which date all the pot-holed and cratered roads will be completely repaired too We hope the committee will pinpoint the names of the contractors and the staff supervising them so that action may be taken against them. They have committed murder—the murder of the reputation of the city, the  murder of our hopes and aspirations and the murder of the trust that was reposed in them by seniors.

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