Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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I said above that these problems have to be attended to jointly. Why I state this will be clear from the following. When civic authorities are digging up roads to lay sewer lines they should ask other departments too- like electricity and telephone departments, waterworks—whether they too would be requiring at some future date to lay down their own cables or pipelines.

Let all of them, including the private telecom parties,  jointly discuss the matter so that the digging operations are undertaken through consensus.  Let the digging operations be postponed if some departments have not taken any final decision on it but are likely to do so in the near future.  They must all be told that if they miss the chance they will have to wait for  five or ten years before another digging operation takes place to meet the joint requirements of all  the participants  Once this is decided then roads can be dug up and all the departments may jointly complete their work.  Right now what happens is that one department starts digging. There is no supervisor on the spot. There is no representative of other departments whose pipelines or cables are also passing via the same route. The result is that the unskilled diggers damage the other lines. There is disruption of water or power or as the case may be. All this would be prevented because then each department would be knowing how deeply laid is the cable or the pipelines of others. Now what happens is that the diggers damage a cable and go on digging unaware of the spot where the damage has been done. They may not be realizing that the telephone-cable which they have damaged has affected the working of broadband service in hundreds of houses living  on that route. For these people the working of the internet is more important than the availability of the sewer line. So the entire line has to be dug up all over again. All  this is avoidable expenditure that is incurred because of the failure of different departments to coordinate their working in such matters.

The point is: Who will bell the  ego cats of different departments when each one is showing its  threatening  claws to the other? I think it is the Commissioner who would have to step in. We must realize that these  problems can be solved and difficulties surmounted if only officers of all departments share their plans and priorities with one another. Right now  most of them seem to be at loggerheads with one another with each blaming the other. This must stop. This is because the public is becoming impatient.  And the official machinery would be giving rise to the birth of a local Kejriwal who will not give them a moment’s respite if  immediate efforts are not made to halt the rot from worsening further.

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