by Sameer Majli
Living on the border has had its share of inconveniences as is evident in the history of Belgaum and in the often discusses issue of non-development in comparison to the resourcefulness of the city. As if the linguistic and geographical divide was not sufficient, the city is now subjected to stalemated development on account of the change in power. When people in power change, their priorities change and half undertaken tasks of the predecessors quite literally take to the back burner, leaving the citizens to wonder what happened to the developmental works that had just commenced or were partially completed.
Over the past few years, the city of Belgaum has witnessed quite a remarkable improvement in roads. The road widening work undertaken across the city, has transformed the landscape, making it almost impossible to visualize how the area once used to be. The city which was once infamous owing to the population of potholes and the bumpy auto rickshaw rides, now sees better times and commuting is a far more comfortable experience now a days. Just when things were beginning to look up, the elections happened and all development came to a standstill.
While it seems logical not to sanction any new tasks during or around the elections, the freeze on the “work in progress” is appalling. Why should citizens suffer because of the differences between the political and lingual-political factions; why should we face the consequences of this so called idealistic divide?
The status of the road around Basveshwar Circle (Khanapur road) is an obvious example to shifting priorities with shifting governments and elected representatives. The road has been widened with land fill and concrete fortification at the edges but the extended section is still awaiting the final touch, awaiting its share of asphalt that would complete the task undertaken by the so called erstwhile regime. Most of the finances allocated to the site have already been utilized and any further delay will only increase the costs. Apathy reigns supreme, pleas fall to deaf ears and the area continues to have its share of vehicles getting stuck in the mud and the slippery muck.
Another place which is a classic example of this happening is the location at Kaivalya Yoga Mandir, Mandoli Road, Tilakwadi. The whole battle there is an issue of who sanctioned the road construction rather than one of paying heed to the need of the region and this Yoga Institute that has been selflessly providing free Yoga training/ classes to citizens across town. The road has been okayed, the desired funds allocated, the gutters approved and work has commenced partially. All this till the polity got busy again over who should or should not take the credit; the tussle between local and state representatives has been an ongoing issue attached to this essential bit of convenience. The representatives from the Kaivalya Yoga Mandir have submitted a petition to the City Corporation in this regard and one can only hope that this will fall to alert and responsive ears. Until then, the members will continue to reach their Yoga sessions using the wooden plank they put in place over the gutter that has been dug up and not finished. The persistent rains are not helping the cause.
The political quarrels and tiffs are so childish that it’s difficult for us to comprehend and accommodate them. Why should focus be on who did it rather than what’s been done? And these are people whom we look up to as our leaders, our elected representatives.
The blame game and the credit game are two integral components of the political players and with them embracing vested interests and refusing to look the right way, it will, as always, continue to be an issue of
“Whose work is it anyway?”