Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reviewing the ‘Reviews’

(Concern For Silchar reviews the reviews our government makes from time to time to monitor the development projects in the North East)

Assurance, reassurance and then yet another reassurance. The ‘reassurances’ repeated repeatedly by our leaders and bureaucrats remind us of that famous dialogue in Amitabh Bachchan's blockbuster Namak Halal: English is a very funny language.

I mean how do you describe the 100th or the 1,000th assurance. You can't coz it would still be a reassurance. What an incredible word.

Well, I know I am sounding gibberish but just spare a thought.

The Railway Board has recently again (re) assured the centre that the all the pending railway projects in the North Eastern region would be speedily completed. I know this is not the first time such an assurance has come from the officials. Such promises have been repeated to death so many times that the word ‘assurance’ has lost all relevance.

Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrashekar was in the North East last week for reviewing the projects related to railways, roads and storage projects for petroleum and food grains and after reviewing he was assured by the railways that things will be taken care of. Well I guess this is no news. After all, he did conduct a similar ‘review’ two years back also.

Now, without judging the credentials of Chandrashekar as an ardent reviewer (after all he reviewed ICTT projects in Kochi and was also asked to review the CWG projects), I wonder what is the modus operandi of a review?

Is it taking opinions from a group of officials who have already delayed the projects umpteen number of times or is it taking a ride in a chopper? I guess, if Chandrashekar really wants to asses the ground situation and review the pending projects, he should better take a bus ride from Guwahati to Silchar or board the Lumding - Silchar train, which is pending completion for the last 14 years. Needless to say, he would not be in a state to write a review after that even in case he survives the ordeal.

The railway officials are also very good in playing with words. While giving the millionth reassurance to Chandrasekhar this time, they attached a rider: conducive working environment. Now what does this conducive working environment mean?

It means improved road conditions for smooth movement of men and materials, eradicating land acquisition issues and providing security and how do we do that? Well, the Cabinet Secretary has entrusted this job on the shoulders of the state governments. What a mockery, isn't?

Meanwhile, Vivek Sahai, the chairman of the Railway Board has also given an impressive presentation to Chandrashekar and has again assured that the railways will spend upto Rs.  3000 crores per year on the pending projects in the North East. Needless to say, the zeroes will keep vanishing with time, without any concrete work on the ground.

I am appalled by Chandrashekar's keenness to review things. I mean what a hunger! Well, I am sure many such reviews will continue even in the coming days, months and years. My only concern is I hope Chandrashekar doesn't end up making a century of reviews on the North Eastern states. He and his leaders above will leave no stone unturned to achieve that, but he might well run out of age!


  1. ha ha what a funny story-really these review boards are of no use.good work


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