The reason/s why we cant fix our biggest problems

Delhi Air is bad. Actually, for parts of the year, it is at gas chamber levels. Long exposure can kill and the present level of pollution is three times more than code red levels.

So you expect whole population to be running out of city in order to save their life. Obviously, not happening.

While a few are tweeting about it, the rest are like goats in a slaughterhouse. Calmly waiting for their turn.
Of course, everyone expresses their annoyance or even frustration, blaming all and sundry, but LIFE GOES ON.

So who is at fault – AAP ( Govt)? BJP (LG/MCD)? Congress (Opposition)? NGT (law enforcer) or Supreme Court (Quasi executive these days)? Or Constitution of India ( the framework designer)?

Think hard before jumping to an option or forming an opinion. For a moment think hard about who really is accountable/responsible for Delhi Air?
Where does the buck stop and which official will lose his shirt or get suspended / terminated if things are not working?


LG / CM / Pollution control Chiefs / NGT Judges ?


Face it,  none of these. All of these  power centres have the power to meddle but no accountability or no skin in the

game! Promotions will continue as well as increments without any relation to the performance! So even as crisis after crisis occurs, we simply turn to the most obvious / visible face at that moment and jump on it.

And who are the most visible faces? Yes, Politicians, or  the law makers. Politicians are like the lowest hanging fruit, easily available, but rarely the answer to your hunger. They are the law makers, when you think about it. And when you consider it, we certainly have no shortage of laws. In fact, sometimes the ‘best’ in the world. So what is going wrong here?

In fact, is Delhi Air the only crisis, we Indians are facing?
Look around – Almost every Indian city or town is a study in neglect. Is that how the world operates? Not really. London had a pollution crisis 60 years ago, but is now a thriving hub again.  Barcelona was a nightmare 20 years back but is a beautiful city now.
In the industrial age, all countries/cities have been through a crisis of some sorts, but most, even those in parts of Africa and of course Asia, have come out better from them. – in terms of Laws / execution / enforcement & punishment except India. We are the only place where change simply fails to catch up with the degradation happening simultaneously. Traffic chaos, law & order chaos, deaths by unsafe building byelaws, traffic accidents etc just still growing. No wonder India ranks on top on each of these ghastly metrics. Like any other country, India also tried  to solve every crisis by making laws.

Our problem is that once the law is written, everything else becomes hazy. Take Rape cases for example? How many prosecuted for Rape? How many punishments finally got done? Remember Nirbhaya anyone? Do you recall any hangings, despite the death sentences?

Our administrative structure is a game of musical chair where the prize is  “Rule”,  not governance.
Officials are appointed for short term with no long-term vision or accountability. Or increasingly, any domain experience.

As officials frame rules for themselves, they build in zero accountability. The simple motto is all privileges but none of the risk or accountability.

Demonstrated recently in the Mumbai  station stampede and its aftermath. How many officials got arrested or suspended?
Or the  NTPC boiler blast with 28 ppl dead, anyone arrested? Had it been a private entity, all the directors would be in Jail and even their families hounded but  in this case, it is ex-gratia at tax payers expense!

Zero accountability / short term and appointment of generalist with little understanding of subject, is a recipe for indifference.  Around us, all we see is simply a function of indifference and teams of people busy calculating their next increment or posting rather than delivering real service or results. No wonder Swachha Bharat is struggling,  even as landfills are choked and pollution is still getting worse.

Coming back to Delhi Air, what is happening ? Which official is there on solving air issues? Or rather which experts?

Can any administrative structure without accountability, knowledge and long-term ownership think strategically  when it pays to be tactical?

So think again, worry hard and choke your lungs. Delhi air is not going to get cleaned by this Govt or any Govt
They are not designed for it. Expecting govt to solve pollution is akin to solving maths by reading or wishful thinking.

Only private sector involvement with skin in the game can make it happen.  With everything done transparently. At massive scale. Go massive, or go bust.

By-Shailesh Vikram Singh

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