The frenzy activities and frenetic rushes of the state machinery in its preparation to welcome the prime minister is nothing short of a spectacle. The number of inaugurations of projects and schemes being held during the last few days by the state government has not been witnessed before, both in terms of scale and diversity, so much so that some have termed it a ‘festival of inaugurations’ not without reason. While the objectives of these inaugurations are commendable, many have started questioning the viability and sustainability of such a decision in the long run.
While the new BJP-led state government has promised change with the present chief minister expressing his intent to bring about physical and emotional unity and inclusive development in the state and is clearly making efforts to put his promises into action, past experiences and examples bears a grim testimony to the less than unfortunate end to a huge number of such schemes and projects purportedly devised to bring development and progress for the benefit of the public. The ground reality is that the common man has yet to feel or enjoy the benefits as the bureaucratic hurdles, red-tapeism and corruption in public offices still makes life difficult. While the claim of the present government of improved governance has some degree of credibility, yet the pace and degree of change the people of the state voted the party for is still frustratingly slow and sluggish.
The biggest challenge of the state government is not the initiation of development activities, but the ensuring of continuity and efficacy of such activities for the public. Without a proper mechanism for implementation and regular appraisal of these schemes and projects such undertakings become bad investment and wastage of precious public resources. Taking into consideration the scarcity of resources and funds as well as state income, it is always a prudent exercise to prioritise quality over quantity. Haphazard decisions and whimsical announcements just to make up the numbers will eventually prove to be a burden sooner or later. Feedback from the public must form an important and integral part of the decision process and the chief minister is doing an exemplary job at present. His “Meeyamgee Numit” is a radical move to keep his fingers on the pulse of the public of the state.
While it may seem too early and unfair to draw comparisons with the previous government given that three consecutive terms were entrusted by the public to perform their duties, the past should be used as a lesson by the present government so that it does not repeat the blunder of institutionalizing cronyism and alienating from the public which put it power. Ensuring proper and timely implementation of activities and following up on the functioning to make sure that the intended targets reap the benefits of the schemes and projects will strengthen the faith of the public and earn it the much needed goodwill.