India Uncut

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Road department v water department

Don't you just love bureaucracy? Mid Day reports:
If your water contamination problems are not being attended to by the water department in spite of repeated complaints, blame the road department.

A recent circular issued by the civic administration has drastically hiked the charges for digging roads, which has led to the water department’s funds drying up.

This will affect laying new lines, checking water contamination and worse, addressing water shortage issues.

Consequently, the department has been facing difficulty in attending to complaints of water shortage, leakages and contamination. In fact, water department officials said that the circular has affected even routine maintenance works.

This reminds me of a conversation I had last evening at a friend's place, where he told me that there were two approach roads to his house, each run by a different municipality. One was well maintained, while the other was an utter mess. Opposite a police station near my house, in fact, the two lanes of the road fall under the jurisdiction of different police stations. So if a robbery happans across the road from the station, in full view of all the cops there, the victim has to go to some other station to file a complaint.

The rest of the world thinks Kafka did allegory; over here, we'd call it realism.

Update: Naveen Mandava writes in:
I have been witness to a situation where this guy was mugged and assaulted on Lane 1. He runs but is assaulted and falls unconscious on the lane beside Lane 1. Let us call it Lane 2. The respective police stations argument went like this.

Police Station 2: Lane 1 was where the theft happened so the case has to be registered with Police Station 1.
Police Station 1: Since the assault happened on Lane 2 the case has to be registered with Police Station 2.

This is not Kafka! This is us. Why does this happen? Perhaps Public choice theory can give us a few answers.
amit varma, 11:42 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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