This is the pride of Trivandrum city; THE FLYOVER.
The word ‘dictator’ brings to our mind popular names like “Hitler”, “Mussolini”, “Saddam Hussein” and the most recent one, “Gaddafi”. People normally tend to think that dictatorship is just pure evil. But I believe it’s not always like that, at least in my case. I accept the fact that my fantasy is a strange one. If you meet me you`ll know that I am a person who loves peace. So it is very difficult to connect me to dictatorship. But there is no other way. Dictatorship, in my opinion is the best way to fix my city, Trivandrum. This is the capital of a state and still the authorities find it difficult to fix this place. If you ever visit this place, you can see a fly over in the heart of the city. When you see it, you must understand that it’s not just a simple ½ a Km long bridge, it is a civil engineering marvel which took more than 5 years to be completed. The flyover is the symbol of how terrible the administration is.
I am telling this out of love for this place. This city has the natural beauty and all it needs is an efficient administrator. Mahatma Gandhi himself agreed that Trivandrum is an evergreen city. That was more than 60 years ago and even after a long time it is greener than most of the other cities. But today, this lovely place is rotting under corrupt administration. They are talking about huge projects like monorail and vizhinjam port. Let me tell you something, they can’t provide power to common people for 24 hours, then how the hell can they discuss about facilities which require a LOT of electricity. Instead of these mega projects all they have to do is fix the existing problems and the people would be really happy. I feel sad when I hear someone from other cities complaining about this place. My friends and relatives who live in other districts ask me why I love this place in spite of all those problems like ever worsening traffic, terrible driving sense of the residents, deteriorating neatness and the last but the most horrible one, dirty politics. Often I ask that question myself . Once you settle down in this city, you will start enjoying it even if there are a lot of problems with this place. It is a mystery why the resident people find it difficult to hate this place.
So whenever I ponder over the condition of the city, I unknowingly get trapped in a fantasy. It is a fantastic fantasy of being a dictator who is in complete control of Trivandrum and then I`ll start listing out all those changes that I will bring upon this city. Some of these reforms may seem to be very extreme. But, I don’t care.
a) Cancel everything, which means any kind of funding, discussions, meetings or any other kind of plan that includes the word ‘monorail’.
b) I will empty the treasury if required to introduce a proper waste management system. A separate department will be created for people who clean the city streets and they will get a very good salary with all the government incentives. Waste bins will be introduced at every nook and corner of the city. After all these reforms, I will empower police officers to fine the people as much as they wish for not using the waste bins.
c) Ban any kind of big construction projects in the Kovalam-poovar stretch .i.e. the port project will be shifted to some other place. You`ll know why I want to ban the port project if you have visited this beautiful place at least once. The natural beauty of this stretch is the reason why tourists flock to Kovalam and vizhinjam area and any project which destroys the scenic beauty should be discouraged.
d) Hire someone who knows town planning and is also a “go-green” enthusiast to repair all those existing roads in and around the city.
e) Invest in a project which will facilitate the supply of paper or cloth bags to every shop in the city. Then I will ban the use of polythene bags; at least in the heart of the city. People can either use their own nylon or jute bags, or else they can buy the paper or cloth bags supplied by the government ( me :D). No matter what they do, I don`t want to see a single soul carrying a plastic bag in the heart of the city.
f) Fix Thampanoor, no matter what it costs.
g) Empower every police officer to fine as much as they wish for violating traffic rules. I will make it legal for the police officers to take a portion of the fine as a bonus. So more they collect, the more they earn in the form of bonus :D.
h) Improve the public transport system (KSRTC) and encourage the people to use the public transport (This is a very realistic goal which can be achieved even in the present context). But since I am the dictator of Trivandrum, as an extreme measure I may ban all the vehicles except government vehicles, KSRTC buses, auto rickshaws and cycles from entering into the heart of the city.
The above listed reforms are in a way, lying somewhere near being realistic. Now I shall list out a few reforms (silly ones but………) which will be brought purely because “ I” am the dictator of this city:
a) Special government support for running Thattukadas and chaayakadaas.
b) A Government institution for conferring Photography degree with campus selection at the end of the course :D.
That`s all I can think about, for now. This is just a fantasy, so I am free to imagine whatever I like. But in the present scenario, I strongly believe that the government should concentrate on fixing the existing problems rather than churning out new problems or projects.