DailyPost 2305

Expertise can translate into deliverables if there is a will. If the expertise itself is missing then nothing will get delivered whatever come may, any quantum of political and bureaucratic will cannot make it happen. Unfortunately, more often than not, that is also missing. Do local self-governments in the country have these two elements in them, to deliver what they are mandated to. The state and central governments can make policies, rules, guidelines, monitoring and regulatory mechanisms and what does it mean to the municipal authorities who run the show.

What does the local self-governments do in this country? It is an approval mechanism for variety of activities, from the most simple to the most complex. Next in line are the operations, maintenance and upgrade tasks of infra and civic amenities. They are also taking care to capital investment and execution of large number of projects, which are claimed to be futuristic in nature. All these impacts and help to create or stall or prevent a Joshimath type of a situation, but independent of these activities is there anything in the local self-government that deals with specific issues and works in the direction of sorting it out.

The management bus concept clearly says that if there are X number of seats and you get only few of them, it is better to work with them rather than picking up who don’t qualify for that specific job. But if there is nobody good enough to handle crisis in the making what do you do. A bunch of bystanders called officials, with no expertise or power to decide or intervene in a technical or a proactive manner. Consider this scenario with points to be considered; research report projects an impending disaster based on clear cut technical reasons and also suggests remedial actions, locals complain of the symptoms of the same disaster, might be the officials of the local self-government staying the same town would be facing the same predicament.

So, while a town or an area degenerates into disintegration, the local self-government is helpless, keep watching things going downslide and a human disaster in the making. The expertise is missing at the local self-government level. How many of them have a panel of experts on the issues they face on term engagement basis? Do we have experts where you need them? We have expert voices in hindsight all around the place, is anybody ready to held accountable if their advice fails or conversely, or are they to work together to make it a success in a long-drawn professional engagement. Gyan of the nature we are familiar with works on whatsapp, articles, electronic media and social media. Who will make it happen on ground is a billion- dollar question? At the local self-government level the expert is missing and higher level ones are missing in action. How far can we go? Is crude disaster management the only thing we can do?

Sanjay Sahay

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