Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Governance and ego in India

If there was ever an example of how ego can derail good governance, irrespective of hardship to consumers, the bus row between UP and Delhi is a prime example. Without going into the motives of why exactly this situation rose, it would be good to actually consider what is happening.
The situation is simple, buses owned by UP and Delhi Transport corporations (Government owned) that earlier used to move commuters between different cities of UP and Delhi now are blocked from entering each others territory. So, consider the simpest case, a citizen of this country, staying in some part of Delhi works in Noida. Till now, he would come out of his house, maybe walk for a brief while, and then get a bus that will drop him near his office. And now, the bus terminates at the Delhi border, where he has to get down, walk for some distance to find another transport the rest of the way. And this is not for one person, but by now lakhs of people will have been affected.
And why has this not been resolved ? Well apparently the issue of buses plying between the 2 states had been discussed earlier, and some sort of agreement reached. But this agreement collapsed; and the other important reason, ministers of one state rebuffed the other state and vice-versa, and so, there is no agreement and buses are getting impounded. And these are the officials and ministers on whom we depend to make our lives better. One seriously expects them to behave better than crying children.
There is a sneaking feeling that all this is being done to play more politics; there are elections soon in UP, and all such postures are part of partisan politics. This is also linked to whether the Metro goes to Noida and whether Delhi's Sonia Vihar water plant gets enough water. We have sunk so low in our esteem for politicians that if you ask people about the reason for a particular action, all sorts of motives can be ascribed and believed.
Will things improve ? Right now, the commuters are getting badly affected; and the children of schools that are in Noida and whose homes are in Delhi are getting badly affected. In the midst of all this, it is worth noting that these politicians do not do anything to affect their personal / party interests, so private buses are out of all the skirmish and are benefiting greatly from this situation.
Some links that explain the position:

Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 6:19 AM