Embankments...

  • 29/11/1999

politicians: A means to generate funds for the party's coffers

Used the concept of shramdan (voluntary labour) to exploit the people

Awarded contracts to their relatives and party workers

Failed to maintain proper accounts

contractors: Saw earthwork as an easy way to make a fast buck

Exploited loopholes in the supply of earth and boulders; boulders supplied at one site would be shifted to another

Could supply the same boulders to three different sites on paper

Lobbied with engineers to grab all such contracts

engineers: An easy way to get commissions from contractors

Scope for corruption. Making money while maintaining and rebuilding embankments. Poor maintenance led to rebuilding of embankments.

Scope for letting criminals shift material from one site to another so that it could be billed at both sites

criminals: Could follow contractors into bidding for earthwork contracts

Establish close links with bureaucrats, politicians and engineers with the money earned

Fund political parties as this provided them some protection from the law

Gave them a say in the running of the state

people: An unnecessary evil. Which prolonged floods and increased suffering

Imparted a false sense of security to them

Displaced poor farmers and rendered them landless

Forced the poor to take to crime

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