mid-day editorial: Find answers to questions and take action

Latest figures reveal that at least 24 people have been killed and another 100 injured after an under-construction flyover collapsed in North Kolkata near Ganesh Talkies (Girish Park), on Thursday afternoon. The bridge which is in a densely populated pocket gave way, trapping a considerable number of people under the debris, and, injuring many more.

In a tiresome and familiar pattern, now, a war of words has erupted between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP. Instead of keeping the focus on how this disaster should be avoided or finding out exactly, who is responsible and why this has happened the focus has shifted on passing the buck, using words to pull the wool over people's eyes, so that we never get to the crux of the situation which is, why did this disaster happen? What could be done to prevent it? Who is to blame for this? What was the emergency response situation like? And what can be done for those injured? Are the rescue operations being conducted in a smooth, well-oiled manner? These are some of the questions that need answers, some immediately, the others, maybe not at once but certainly demand answers. If we do not move quick enough on the first steps to this situation, which is answers to some urgent, worrying questions, then we cannot move on to the next step, which is action.

This perhaps is the ultimate aim of those responsible, that you deflect the real matter as far as possible. It is designed to wrap all such queries in as much confusion, wrangling, mud slinging and pointing fingers. In the event, time has elapsed, the incident becomes a statistic in public memory and the tragedy then is buried under all the rigmarole, political drama and confusing statements that have followed. Public outrage is smothered and those who are guilty then take advantage of the time lapse and have an escape window. It is a bit like major crises which are then passed on from inquiry committee to committee till it becomes a question of simply going around in circles.

It is time to see through these deliberate and convenient time wasting, not getting to the real point measures and simply blow them away. Answers should follow questions and punitive action should follow answers. There is no other way.

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