Is Anyone Listening?

In Nagaland state, issues of power supply, irregular water supply and pitiable road conditions have been in the public realm for many years now. Summer after summer, monsoons after monsoons, year after year; these three basic fundamental needs of any have been raised consistently before the government, seeking immediate intervention to respond to the needs of the people in a responsible manner. However, is there anyone listening?

Unfortunately successive governments, irrespective of political party; have failed to responsibly respond to these issues in a manner that is fair and sustainable. Whatever measures have been taken thus far suggest a band-aid response; a superficial pleasing response that seems to be aimed at pacifying voices of dissent rather than actually addressing the issue in a concrete and real manner. The fact that the issue of power supply, irregular water supply and pitiable roads have not been addressed raises critical questions of good governance and intention.

For years now, it is common sight in Nagaland state to see small sections of roads being repaired either during winter or monsoons, and usually by the time one section of the road is complete the other section begins cracking up. For some reason to a layperson, the conventional practice of repairing roads at an odd time of the year and repairing small sections at some unusual part of the highway, while the rest of the highway remains untouched, fails to convince the presence of any honest intent. Not surprisingly, once monsoon is over, the just repaired road requires some major repairs.

What does this really mean? Is the present technology in road building faulty? Are the people responsible for building the roads not doing a good job? Is the government not allocating sufficient resources that are required for the building and maintenance of roads? Who benefits out of this? These questions remain unanswered. However, it is a simple fact that the road conditions are just pitiable and no amount of repair works seems to help towards an efficient and good conditioned road system in Nagaland. The question of water and power supply is left to public scrutiny. 

Successive parties which formed the state government in Nagaland have made promises of development and progress. The irony however is not lost! The fact that governments have continued to ignore the need to address the issues of water, electricity and roads only implies that the governments are actually not serious about development. After all, these three basic infrastructural needs are necessary requirements for the development of any society. There is therefore a supposition that suggest an acute lack of will to address these fundamental needs in a concrete and sustainable manner. 

While voices of public dissent against the indifferent attitude of the government in addressing issues of water, electricity and road goes unheeded and unheard, the tragedy multiplies. Sooner, if not later, the voices of dissent may snowball into a social cataclysm which no government will be able to ignore. It will be ironic if a government’s attention and response to address questions of basic needs is realized only through social cataclysms. However, considering the state of affairs it could be the only affective way to get the attention of the government!