DailyPost 2690

India is at the crossroads of compliance or non-compliance. A very queer situation, and we seem to have stuck in it for good. The regulator and enforcers because of the way they have decided perform their duties, for reasons known to the world, are forced to behave like bystanders, when the tragedy hits. From the Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy of 1997 to the one that unfolded today in MP; Harda Factory Fire, nothing seems to have changed, not even the response or the promises. The ensuing legal battles to mired compensation and what not.

Fire tragedy may be the ghastliest manifestation of our Non-Compliance Raj if one call so, it is found in literally anything and everything in the country. What is Non-Compliance Raj? It is state wherein what is to be complied, done or acted up on the ground, in physical terms is shown to have done on paper. As a natural extension, things wrongly done, are shown to perfectly done on paper. Specification, measurement and quality fixing has become the norm. It also means that you can get any paper approved by governmental authorities albeit with some camouflage tricks and then you are at liberty to play around it, as per your convenience and vested interest, provided you know the tricks of the trade.

Recently we also had the Noida twin tower demolition, allowed to be built on shameful compliance track record. It should tall as a slap on the face of the regulators or the enforcers. How many of buildings in the country follow the approved plan? How many of them have fire and other safety measures as technically mandated in place? The country witnessed the embarrassing flooding in the tech capital, with CEOs running for life in tractors. Did those localities and outlandish gated communities have their compliances in place? They had the compliances, which given the 8backdrop of hard facts can be safely termed as stage managed.*

Can you hoodwink every single agency associated with town planning and civil construction approvals? That is not possible, then what had been made possible can be termed as the biggest disservice to governance and orderly development of our urban centers and the nation. It is like fence eating the crop, we are not interested in implementing laws and rules we make, which we vouch for and keep doing endless lip service of it. When the regulators and enforcers are not attitudinally aligned to perform as they are mandated, the word of law and rules can be made empty words in practice. Talk to any consultant, middlemen and facilitating agency in any of the areas discussed and you will realize they view this world very different from what we do. Unfortunately, that is real India.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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