mid day editorial: Govt officials should work for taxpayers

Feb 28, 2018, 08:56 IST | mid-day correspondent

A day before Railway Minister Piyush Goyal's arrival in the city, to inaugurate the three foot overbridges (FOBs) made by the Army, the Railways swiftly cleared Parel station of all stalls and booths

A day before Railway Minister Piyush Goyal's arrival in the city, to inaugurate the three foot overbridges (FOBs) made by the Army, the Railways swiftly cleared Parel station of all stalls and booths. During a surprise visit on February 1, Goyal had asked the officials to de-clutter the platforms. Goyal had echoed the sentiments of commuters, and directed railway officials to remove unnecessary objects that have cluttered the CSMT-end of the station, narrowing the platform. It was not business as usual then on Monday afternoon, as a canteen, a book stall and food stall were cleared away, making space for commuters to walk and stand.

One can only watch in wonder when authorities from different spheres work swiftly when top political personalities make a visit to show the best possible face of the city. At other times, let things go to seed, let pedestrians inch along narrow roads, thanks to encroachments. That is the reality in Mumbai.

When ordinary people and Area Locality Management (ALM) representatives write numerous letters, make visits, buttonhole corporators into taking some action, we see little or no movement at all, yet astonishing alacrity and so-called concern for people comes to the fore during these official visits.

Soon after, these high profile adventures are over, we are back to square one, with pedestrians having to hop alongside encroachments and bear the brunt of obstacles eating up legitimate walking space. It is natural then that such visits that act as checks are looked on with a mix of cynicism, amusement and irritation by people. Do not make cosmetic changes to appease ministers or bigwigs. Let there be genuine regard for people and make permanent changes keeping them in mind.

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