mid-day editorial: Our VIP obsession must be transformed

Mar 03, 2018, 06:09 IST | mid-day correspondent

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal recently threw open Army-made foot over bridges (FOBs). At the inauguration he announced 100 more within a year

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal recently threw open Army-made foot over bridges (FOBs). At the inauguration he announced 100 more within a year. The work on the bridge was completed in a record time of 117 days. While the quick finishing is a reason to cheer for a metropolis used to waiting endlessly for infra projects to be completed, one can only hope these are of great quality and stand the test of time. However, the most hearting facet of the opening was that the bridge inaugural plaques were unveiled by a flower vendor, a dabbawalla, and a fish vendor.

This is not a detail to be brushed off. This is applause-worthy idea and we hope it becomes a trailblazer. This is doing away with the old trope of waiting for bigwig politicians and VIPs to inaugurate infra projects. This is about doing away with political parties bickering about what to name a certain project, instead of concentrating on quality and the importance of finishing the job on time. It is not about one incident or that every new project should be inaugurated by vendors or dabbawallas.

We have seen that gardens, FOBs, bridges, skywalks or even a divider not being opened for a long time, just because those in charge are waiting for a particular politician or minister or some other politically connected chosen one to give them time for inauguration because the latter’s appointment book may be full.

Inaugurations must bring the focus back on the common man, pedestrians, locals and residents for whom these projects are done. While every common man cannot cut a ribbon, the Railways’ move should be more than symbolic and start a significant trend of easing out our VIP-will-cut-the-ribbon obsession. Well done, Mr Goyal. Let us see other facilities picking up on this one.

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