By Sudha Dixit
“People have to bear it” declared Karnataka CM Siddaramaiya, when he along with his entourage caused a traffic jam to great inconvenience of citizens of Bangalore. There were school children who were late for classes. There were patients (some – critically ill) who could not reach hospitals in time. Several people missed their trains and flights for the same reason. Instead of feeling sorry or showing any remorse, when Mr. CM was told about the plight of the general public, he grandiosely stated “People have to bear it”. Why not? When the mighty king is out on his grand tour, the subject has to stand, wait, bow and serve. The Lordship need not be bothered about people in general or children or senior citizens. The man (politician), who comes to masses with a begging bowl in hand (for votes), bows with folded hands and pleads “I am your humble servant; please give a chance to serve you. Please vote for me” becomes a monarch, the moment he wins the election and occupies the throne.
These politicians get a fat salary (for not doing anything) plus free junket, sumptuous TA, DA; still their greed has no limits. Hence Mr. CM, supported by his cronies started eyeing the elite private clubs. There is a long waiting list for people who want to become members of these exclusive clubs. Paying huge sum of money as membership fee is not enough. The incumbent has to be recommended by several existing members. This condition is to ensure quality (which alas, most politicians don’t have). Hence the Titan ordered his henchmen to draft a policy of “Tatkal Entry” into all private clubs free of cost, as a special privilege for politicians. Absurd and ridiculous reasons were cited for this outrage. For example: –
- These clubs follow and promote Western culture so the Government must interfere and introduce Indian culture.
- The Government will regulate and monitor these clubs’ finances, a clever reasoning by free – loaders.
- People of Karnataka want Govt. to control these clubs.
It was total opposition from sophisticated club-goers and activism by media that stopped the monarch from treading on forbidden ground.
The latest brain wave of Mr. CM is to build a steel fly over at the enormous cost of Rs. 1800 crores. From the time this ludicrous idea was conceived, it was opposed. Experts quoted its non-viability. Public rejected it outright, for various reasons: –
- Enormous cost of construction –Rs. 1800 crores
- Huge cost of maintenance – 800 crores per annum.
- No transparency in the project as RTI refused to provide any information about planning and cost – management of the whole project.
- BDA and other pertinent bodies have been either side tracked or coerced into giving ‘No Objection’ certificate to this draconian project.
- Around 8000 trees will be chopped, which is not acceptable.
There are many more important issues troubling the state and people. Those issues have priority over this unwanted bridge.
Sometime back the State government faced problem of food and water shortage. It faced questions about education health issues. For each and every problem, the answer was a flat and insensitive reply ‘there is no money in the coffer. Already 10,700 pothole deaths have taken place in Bangalore itself, road conditions are pathetic. But the state has no money to fix them. Whole world is laughing at IT hub Bangalore because of garbage. Once the garden city has now become the garbage city but the govt. does not have money to deal with it.
We the citizens are asking the elected govt. Who is footing the bill for this unwanted flyover? We can have 400 flyovers in different areas for this kind of money, then why this VIP bridge? Social security, housing for migrant workers, infrastructure, farmers’ suicide cases and all problems concerning food and water & most of all, garbage can be tackled with this kind of money. But the govt. headed by arrogant politicians is not able to see the reason. No wonder the citizens are wondering why? Who is benefiting the people or politicians?
About The Author: Sudha Dixit is from Lucknow and studied at Aligarh Muslim Univ., Lucknow Univ. and Banaras Hindu University. She currently resides in Bangalore. She writes articles, poems in both Hindi & English. Her hobbies include painting and reading.