February 06, 2010

Let's bomb this bridge

If you are on the verge of launching yourself as a local entrepreneur, there are a couple of nice businesses coming your way.

Much, if not all has to do with civic services.

A little birdie at the city father’s office has let me in on this information and in the true spirit of a community communication I felt I should make it public.

We have now moved to the age of the RTI (Right to Information).

I will not reveal the source but have given you the hint because I don’t want the poor engineers and officers at the civic body’s local office to be thrown into the Buckingham Canal by their superiors (the Cooum is best for those contemplating suicide, murder, foul play and cinematic acts).

Lets get to the business.

The birdie says that the days of the small jobs is over.

That is why you don’t find people clearing the wild bushes on our pavements, replacing broken tiles on sidewalks, repairing collapsed drains and mending broken rails on bridges.

That is why it does not help if you keep cribbing about corroded playthings and leaking manholes.

That is why they ask you to now e-mail these plaints if you wish to take up an issue: these go down a depthless pit in the Web that has lots of space. You will get polite acknowledgments. A smiley zips at the press of a key.

That is why all those tenders you see in your newspapers are big. Big jobs.

A few crores for the expansion of a bridge (and a few lakhs for the demolition of the original built in the days of the Brits). A few crores to relay the pavement on the beach. A few crores to demolish a shopping complex and build a giant one in its place. A few lakhs to renovate an entire park.

Now, these projects are for the Big Boys.

But there may be space for the Small Men too.

There were some trials.

They gave a job to some one to maintain our street lamps.

They awarded a contract to another to run the loos.

Now they may want to hand over the work of clearing wild bushes, cleaning drains of waste, filling potholes and watering the traffic islands.

This civic body isn’t interested. Its workforce is spent and tired. Its officers have their cellphones switched off. Our councillors . . . god bless them.

I have a one-time job to offer - am looking for a skilled pilot who can bomb only the Adyar Bridge. Not the old, the other.

Those who suffer its pain day in and day out will gladly pay for this job. There is no need for a tender - the bridge will gladly slip into the Adyar.

No comments: