Why must public pay for authorities' ego?

Dec 07, 2018, 05:00 IST | mid-day correspondent

Different agencies need to call a truce and citizens cannot be bounced off warring departments, as we often see. Unity of purpose, streamlining of work and clear responsibilities will ensure this

Why must public pay for authorities' ego?

The BMC is still reconstructing a 4.2- km stretch between the Sakinaka junction and the railway station in Andheri East, three years after the road was wrecked by the MMRDA during the construction of Metro 1. The MMRDA handed the road back to the BMC without bothering with repairs, and still refuses to cover the losses. Meanwhile, the civic body has already spent R 150 crore to fix the road.

Apart from the road, extensive repairs were also needed for the drainage and sewerage lines, damaged during the Metro work. The report goes on to say that if the MMRDA had taken onus and started repairs, it would not have taken so long. The Metro authority already had permission to work on that stretch, and could have carried out repairs immediately. Instead, the BMC had to start from scratch, waiting for fresh permissions to carry out the work. Through all the red tape, it is the common man who is suffering a bumpy ride on this stretch. Now the fear is that the same story will repeat with the construction of Metro 2A over Link Road.

This is not the first time that two agencies are not in sync with each other or at loggerheads has spelt doom for citizens. Sometimes, two agencies fight it out over a piece of infrastructure, frittering away precious time. At other times, it is about whom to name the facility after, or whom to invite for the inauguration. This is a perennial logjam. Not to mention the bickering over who gets to take credit for the work.

The public has had to wait for months, if not years, for public facilities to open, as authorities squabbled about who should declare it open. Different agencies need to call a truce and citizens cannot be bounced off warring departments, as we often see. Unity of purpose, streamlining of work and clear responsibilities will ensure this.

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