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Idiot Planning (standard:non fiction, 1322 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Oct 27 2010Views/Reads: 1448/776Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
An essay on beuracratic bungling experiences in a developing country.


Subba Rao 

A sewer treatment plant built on the beach front road, where it could
be? In Vizag, a large metropolitan city in South India with a 
population over 2 million. 

“Whose idea was that?” inquired Juggernaut. 

“Don't ask me, I only work here,” replied the irritated lady engineer
working at the plant. Then she calmed down, “Well, the planning 
engineers thought, a sewer treatment plant closer to beach would 
facilitate easy discharge of treated sewer deep into the sea. 

“Have they considered about possible stink from the sewage treatment at
the beach and numerous homes around?” 

“”You ask them,” the engineer shot back and walked away. 

“Constructing a sewage treatment plant near the beach, that's a real
idiot planning, all right,” thought Juggernaut, walking slowly from the 
stinking plant at the beach which was shut down temporarily from 
operational problems after spending millions. 

“I am wondering if you have old records on the huge underground sewer
pipe line project from 1964?” asked Juggernaut. 

The respondent, an old bureaucrat working in the City of Vizag public
works Department raised his head and looked at Juggernaut as if he was 
looking at an alien creature. 

“I am talking about a project on which the City spent millions on laying
underground drainage pipe lines in mid 1960's, since then never brought 
into operation,” asked Juggernaut. 

“Sir, I have been working here since 1970 and nobody mentioned about
that project,” the bureaucrat was calm. 

“Then what happened to those pipe lines and why it is not in operation?”

“I have no clue and you have to ask my supervisor who came on board only
few years ago,” the bureaucrat threw a curve ball. 

The underground drainage project in mid 1960's after years of spending
millions in digging and laying pipe lines was abandoned and forgotten 
without even putting to use, why? Nobody in the Public Works Department 
even aware of the existence of underground drainage pipes in the area. 
After waiting hours to meet the bureaucrats to get answers, Juggernaut 
left the office building asking himself “what kind of idiot planning 
was all that about?” 

The city's oldest college with prestigious name was in ruins in some
sections. Roof was partially collapsed in some class rooms.  The 
college auditorium is now an abandoned building with vegetation took 
over the structure. Dust to dust. 

Squatters occupied the college play grounds and turned into a slum.
During a visit to the college after several decades, Juggernaut 
confronted one of the officials in the college on the condition of the 

“You know this college operates on a private trust money with some
assistance from the government, we can hardly pay the salaries to the 
staff and no money to maintain the infra-structure,” said a tired 
looking man sitting in a dark dingy office room. 

During all these years of decline and decay, had the board of trustees
made any attempts to get funding from other sources;  say donations 
from the college alumni, many now successful entrepreneurs, the 
situation could have been better.  Now the dilapidated buildings, some 
beyond repair look more like an archeological ruins rather than a 
school in operation. Idiot thinking or what? 

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