Let me confess it. I’m a pucca Congressi. But I’d no qualms in accepting that one good thing BJP did in its last regime were the roads. Even being a pucca Congressi, I’d lambasted the ousted Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, for neglecting the road to his constituency (Shimla-Rohru) and making trips by air. It’s early days to judge the BJP government. But my recent trip to Hatkoti and my village showed the difference, that the new government has taken up its pet project of building roads where it had left. The drive this time from Shimla to Hatkoti, was much smoother, especially from Fagu to Theog, and then from Chailla to Kharrapathaar.
The ditches are being filled and the patch work is being done. There are banners welcoming the local MLA and Agriculture Minister, Narinder Bragta. So he’s making frequent tours and visits to his constituency – by road. That’s the reason the patch work of the roads is being done. Parapets are being reconstructed and white-washed. Even the white reflectors on the walls are being painted. ‘Horn Please’ (on curves) too have a new paint. I really don’t know, whom to blame for the neglect in the past five years. Virbhadra Singh or Rohit Thakur, the then MLA from Jubbal-Kotkhai.
I’m happy, at least the patch-work is being done. In the past five years, not even patch work was done. Why should the PWD care, when Rajaji made air-trips to his constituency – Rohru? Now they have to show Bragtaji that they are working and his drive should be smooth. But did not that apply to Rohit Thakur? Did he have any influence at all in the party circles?
Ask any other pucca Congressi, and s/he would say – Rohit is a nice guy, and he listens to everybody and has a good attitude. We don’t want good attitude, we want good performance. Politics is one field, where good attitude and good performance go hand in hand. Remember Shanta Kumar. A good policy-maker, but what marred him was his attitude. No favours, not even to his own people, forget others.
Coming back to the roads, even the Trans-Pabbar road to my village, Mandal was tarred til Bholar Nalla, in the BJP regime. Further on, till Jhagtan/Jhadashli it was neglected by the Congress regime. The excuse was the thekedar has fallen ill. Was he ill for the last five years? Did he get well as soon as BJP came back to power. Travelling the six-kilometre stretch from Bholar Nalla to Mandal, made my JK tyres last only 40,000 kms. I replaced them with Bridgestone. But I was surprised to find work in progress to tar the further stretch and a smooth ride till Mandal.
The way to go. A Thumbs Up for at least the roads. I don’t know, how the government is doing on other projects. But one issue, I’d seriously like the BJP government to reconsider is the Sawra-Kuddu power project. It’ll be an environment disaster and disturb the local ecology. Rather focus on and encourage small power projects – like pann-chakki.