No power supply ? No problem... There is Capitol Project
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: November 26 2011 -

The Assembly complex awaits the arrival of the Prime Minister
The Assembly complex awaits the arrival of the Prime Minister - Pix :: TSE

It is getting more and more jocular. Slapstick comedy ? Plain buffoonery ? To the SPF Cabinet open sale of fuel means opening some select oil pumps on a given day. While vehicles are free to fill to their capacity, not all vehicles which have lined up outside the fuel pump are issued the tokens.

The reason ? There are not enough fuel going around to issue tokens to all. So open sale here means doing away with the rationing system, which was earlier buying petrol worth Rs 500/800/1000 and adopting a system where tokens are given on the basis of first come first serve. A practise with universal applicability and perfectly democratic. Ladies first ?

Nah, though a different queue for them may just be brewing in the minds of the 12 Wise Men. No more queues outside petrol pumps in the night is one line that may be parroted with a glint of pride by the people holding such responsible positions as Ministers.

But has this addressed the question of fuel availability ? No night queues, so no problem, is the answer most likely to come spewing out from the lung power of the people responsible for coining the Open Sale of Fuel phrase !

Adding that bit of excitement to the slapstick comedy that has been in action for nearly four months on the trot now is the transformation of the poor man's fuel, kerosene, to the rich man's fuel-with its selling price tagged at anywhere between Rs 90 and Rs 100 per litre.

It should be simple, so why crib when a litre of kerosene is sold at astonishingly inflated rates in the grocery shop run by Khura Chaoba in the neighbourhood ? It is the poor man's fuel so who has given any thought to it ?

Not the Government, not the officials and of course not the media either. Priorities have to be stressed on the fuel that keeps the wheels of the suited, booted class moving.

The Council of Ministers obviously have better things to do, such as putting on their best foot forward to roll out the red carpet when the honourable Prime Minister lands here at Imphal.

Of course, Dr Singh will be here for the development of the place, as a number of projects, which have been in the stage of ‘under construction’ for years will be finally inaugurated.

A swank Assembly complex. A brand new High Court complex, a state of the art City Convention Centre not to speak of the Inter-State Bus Terminus. All these are in the heart of Imphal and Imphal is the capital of Manipur and it should be developed to the status of a capital of a State. Right ?

It is a different matter that while priorities were indeed placed on completing these projects though they should have been completed many years back, the common people will be constrained to opt for the hurricane lamp to light up their homes, in the face of power cuts and again that too for only a few hours as the fuel on which these lamps are lit does not belong to the priority list.

So the white collared babus, the elected leaders of the people and their hangers on will have something to cheer as they will be moving to a new structure soon while the fate of the people will continue to hinge on the whims of some section who can control the National Highways.

A state of the art capitol complex while it will continue to take about 4 days to cover a distance of 220 kms on the Imphal-Jiribam line. A City Convention Centre to host breath taking cultural extravaganza while people will continue to enjoy power supply for only 6/7 hours per day.

An ISBT to boast of while the very buses which will park here to pick and drop passengers are forced to spend hours in the queue to receive their share of diesel and no we are not talking only about the present but also the past and the future as well.

A new Secretariat for the white collared babus to work in a modern environment while it will take days, months and even years to get a file moved from one table to the other.

Of course, something has to move and the projects in line for the inauguration function are welcome and will definitely add something noteworthy to the skylines of Imphal.

This is what the people need and this is what will add another feather in the cap of the Congress led SPF Government, so goes the thinking. The basic needs of the people no longer mean bread, clothes and shelter.

This obviously explains the SPF Government's decision to stress its priority on these magnificent structures which will decorate the landscape of the capital city, while damning its lifelines.

So what if there is water supply only once or twice a week that too for only a few hours ? There is the Imphal Sewerage Project, though no one knows when it will be completed.

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