Saturday, February 17, 2018
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manoj kumar

This was a part of the famous song rendered by Manoj Kumar in the voice of Mukesh some 40 years ago in film ‘Beiman’ in which corruption was highlighted. I thought of this song when I saw in the newspapers pictures flashed about the death-traps on the most prestigious road of Allahabad, the MG Marg and near the most hallowed spot of the road—the Hanuman Temple. This was the road that had been dressed up with all possible repair frills imaginable and the officials were patted by the higher-ups for the wonderful work done.

This road has turned into a passage of death traps in les than a year’s time. Last year, before the Mahakumbh, this road along with other thoroughfares was being streamlined, renovated, beautified to welcome the crores who were expected to come. They did come, did praise and did go away happy, singing   praises of the administration which had, as if, created the eighth wonder of the  world by  its magnificent work. And who are the victims? The citizens of Allahabad!.
Shame on those who constructed, repaired the roads so badly; shame on those who supervised the work of the repair squad and shame on those who okayed their work. Right now there hasn’t been any rain or flood. The weather is clear. If water was leaking in some underground pipeline that softened the surface and weakened it, who did that? All the work was being done in the name of the Mahakumbh beautification drive.  How is it that roads built long, long ago have not suffered from these horrors and roads that underwent complete renovation have not been able to bear the weight of a truck? Our work culture has gone to the dogs. Our entire system dealing with maintenance of roads and other public-utility constructions has collapsed.
The other day, while passing over the Khusraubagh flyover, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my repeated requests for the repair of the portion above the Railway line, which was lying in tatters, had been repaired. But now comes this ghastly sight of death traps on the most fashionable road of Allahabad. Who will take action against the defaulters? Who will probe the whole thing to tell us whether or not good-quality material was used to make these roads? And if quality tests were not conducted, who prevented that ? Some one must be held accountable for all this. Such things cannot be allowed to go on unpunished.  The sooner the authorities take punitive action against the defaulters the better it would be for the system’s survival. Right now all that is echoing in my mind is that Manoj Kumar song, ‘Jai bolo beiman ki...'

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