Many feel that all hullabaloo on corruption may not rattle the business-as-usual scenario! A peep into the latest developments with the controversial scheme for elected parliamentarians may confirm such apprehension. Each MP has Rs 5 crore each year at his/her discretion for promoting 'local area development'. Whatever it may mean, the privileged members can now assign works under MPLADS scheme without calling tenders and they have liberty to engage any agency or assign the task to any NGO.The only clause being that the assigned party should fit into the subjective interpretation of being of 'national reputation' .
That the scheme is under Comptroller & Auditor General's scanner for 'irregularities' doesn't concern the government a bit. Far from taking cognizance of irregularities pointed out by CAG, the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation has gone to the extent of suggesting that MPLADS funds can henceforth be used for works on 'private lands'. With an estimated Rs 21,300 crore riding on members in each session of the parliament under the scheme, the chance for public money to be squandered for private purposes cannot be ruled out. There is enough evidence to suggest that 'that' might indeed be the case!
No denying that each drop of water must be conserved. In this light, 92.7 Big FM ongoing campaign on water conservation deserves appreciation. Using multiple celebrity voices, the 'paani bachao life banao' campaign has been pitched around plugging leakages and saving wastages. Targeted primarily at urban listeners, bulk of the messages relate to saving basin wastage, plumbing leaking cistern and restricting car washing. While the 'frequency modulation' medium is being effectively used to spread crucial message, it erroneusly assumes that 'indivuals' have been the cause of the crises. In reality, individuals have little role in the big water crises.
The question that must be asked is: does water saved get reallocated to those who deserve it more? Ironically, the distribution system has no such provision and whatever little is saved gets sucked within the inefficient system itself. Afterall, municipal consumption is less than 10 per cent of the total water consumed across diverse sectors. For the big picture change, focus needs to shift from acts of personal consumption to gross failure of the system that controls and delivers water. Any campaign taking consumers on a guilt trip by engaging them in what-you-can-do-to-save-the-earth guilt trip is surely misdirected!
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