Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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azam khan

Urban Development Minister Azam Khan’s resignation from the Maha Kumbh Mela organizing committee has taken everyone by surprise. The lazy officials must, of course, be gloating with joy and thanking the Railways for their negligence which caused the stampede , forcing Azam to quit on moral grounds. But many others feel that he was at least keeping the bureaucrats under leash. Of course he did not carry out any of the threats he bombarded on the inefficient bureaucrats. For instance, he had warned those looking after the Ghaat construction works that in case any short-coming was to be found, they will be thrown into the Ganga. Many people resented this remark, not because they had any sympathy for the inefficient officials but because of their concern for the Ganga. They feared that if inefficient officials were to be dumped into the Ganga—and their number could be fairly large because inefficiency is the badge that adorns a large number of them—the waters would get further polluted! Only recently Azam Khan had threatened that he will treat such officials so harshly that they would be seen begging at the roadsides—a sight many must have been longingly waiting for! But alas! Now that will not be possible.

The fear of Azam Khan did work to some extent. But he would have been more effective had he been stationed in Allahabad and personally supervised the works that have, because of the blatant bungling, turned into near scams. We still have some snans left. These will now have to be managed with extra care and caution. And some people have suggested that there should be a committee of senior local citizens who, because of their wide experience of attending the past Kumbhs, may be able to make constructive suggestions for implementation. But Prof Yogeshwar Tewari feels that some one from the ruling party, who knows every nerve of the city and has been nursing Allahabad devotedly must be requested to take over. ‘Who is your choice?’ I asked. He replied, ‘Mr Reoti Raman Singh. He knows the city, all its locations, its problems thoroughly. He is a leading light in Samajwadi Party and can be expected to fare much better’. Yogeshwar says: ‘Following the rail mishap, he was seen rushing to the site, visiting hospitals, providing the healing touch. For me he should be the best choice’. Prof Yogeshwar says: ‘Four snans are still to be held. With Reoti Ramanaji at the helm of affairs, we can expect better results’.


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