Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Performance monkeys

The West Bengal state govt has been working overtime to be able to deliver farmers' land in Singur to the Tata Motors company, for their low-cost car plant.

After protests by some farmers stalled the proceedings, the company expressed its impatience and said they could not wait beyond the end of this year.

The state govt has assured Tata that they have nothing to worry about, i.e. "we will fix it".

It shames me that the govt, which has been ruling for almost 30 years, can go overboard to fulfil the wishes of a private company, while basic things like primary education and healthcare have simply been languishing.

Why does one not see such political will, alacrity, administrative efficiency etc to ensure, for instance, that the state (or even just the city of Calcutta) becomes a fully literate one? Or that children do not die for lack of drinking water and sanitation?

Why did the govt not set itself realistic and achievable targets in such matters, with target dates, and work to realise these?

Why this tom-tomming of support for Cuba - when what should be learnt from Cuba, e.g. about how to provide primary education and healthcare for all, is forgotten?

Nor does the country need a low-cost car! Where are the roads for these cars to be driven on? Where will they be parked? A nightmare of traffic congestion awaits us. And to "solve" that, a never-ending flow of expenditures on roads, flyovers etc. Where is the rational sustainable urban development and transport policy? No one asks these questions.

And the less said about the behaviour of vehicle owners and drivers, the better. With the low-cost car available, we are going to see a few million more psychopathic maniacs on the streets of India's cities.

1 comment:

gaelin said...

In this day and age, one would think that any rational human being would have learnt from the mistakes of the expansion-mad 20th century. Perhaps there just aren't very many rational human beings in government...