Indians are perhaps the most forgiving lot. They are also one of those who give up a fight too easily.
How can anyone explain why a wife, whose husband was drowned to death in a storm water drain in Bangalore couple of few weeks ago, accept just Rs One lakh from the civic authorities and resigned to the fate saying – “Can any amount of money bring back my husband?”
While no one can question this sentiment, it is this lax approach that is making the civic authorities take it easy, even if they endanger the lives of the citizens. This is the same apathy towards road medians – which rarely have any reflectors. Even if they are installed they are useless or robbed in a matter of weeks. The road medians have killed hundreds of bikers. Have any parent demanded compensation from the city police who are responsible for this? Maintaining the medians is the least demanding of the police’s jobs.
The only way to bring those responsible for civic amenities to book is when they are forced to share a part of the compensation which the city corporation/police have to shell out. For example, if the court gives a compensation of Rs. One crore to someone who dies due to some official’s apathy, the official should be made to pay 50 per cent of his salary for the next ten years or 50 percent of his provident fund.
This culture of making civic authorities pay up will come if citizens start demanding big compensation from the courts. The recent example of a Delhi court that slapped a compensation of Rs. One Crore from a hospital for negligence, should become a trend.
One of the reasons cities function well in developed countries is the fear of local bodies getting sued by its citizens. Perhaps the high court can set up a special court to try compensation related cases so that they are cleared quickly. This will not only give confidence to the citizens in the system but will also send a shiver in officials’ spines.
Come on Bangaloreans, wake up. The only way to make the corporation and its indifferent officials responsible is when they have to pay up big money.
Money can not only talk, it can fight as well. For the city.⊕
Amen…that’s one sure way to get them to perform effectively. Perhaps, it’s time for Bangaloreans to change the paradigm.. turn our approach to civic problems upside down and focus on us for a change.