Thursday, June 19, 2008

The politics of provision of a BASIC NEED

I met three sanitation inspectors from the MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) last friday evening (and I must thank Nikhil for coming along and saying that filmy style 'main hoon na..' - which made me feel reassured (?))... The meeting was quite an interesting experience.. and all the interns know about it...
The following is an important point, they made, regarding the difference between how the MCD (under which, they claimed, there is about 95% of the Delhi area) and NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Corporation - which accounts for about 3% of Delhi area- according to them and Delhi Cantonment accounts for roughly 2% of the entire Delhi area) would deal with an issue as basic as building of toilets. “The work culture of the two and the mobility of funds for the MCD and NDMC cannot be compared”. If, the MCD asks for certain funds, then the MCD – which is BJP-led will first have to give the request to the Delhi Government – which is Congress-led, which, due to political repulsions and because they don’t want BJP to ‘get what they want’ as that will lead to implementation of some part of the BJP agenda and so BJP will score higher on the political report card and then, the Congress, is scared that next time around they ‘may be thrown out of power’ (!). And so, quite naturally, some ‘cuts’ are made by the Delhi Government in the request. Then the request goes to the Centre, which also is also Congress led; so, there will be further cuts there. ( it seems the more the hierarchy, the greater the chance of political repulsions and so BIGGER ‘cuts’)
On the other hand, an NDMC request for funds goes directly to the Central Government. The disbursal of funds for the NDMC can be expected overnight where as the amount of time that it would take for disbursal of funds for MCD cannot be predicted! Over and above this, the politically influential people live in the NDMC area, so a request which is ‘pushed’ by this ADDED political influence only gets returns much faster!
(This is probably what is responsible for the GREAT difference between the public toilets in the NDMC area and the MCD area – its sad that a BASIC NEED such as that of public toilets is getting neglected due to political reasons!)

1 comment:

Vasundhara said...

ohh.. so there was a lot more to the meeting than "upmarket restaurants" and "shady bars"!