By Hugh & Colleen Gantzer
We are the people who elected you to look after our interests for five years. When your shelf-life expires, we could either re-elect, or reject, you. Sadly, judging by the shenanigans happening in other states, many MLAs and MPs begin to believe that they have a divine right to power. Even their brats misbehave with presumed impunity. As you can see, some of these delusional politicians are now scrambling around like termites suddenly exposed to the harsh light of truth.
So then, netajis, what are you doing about our water crisis? The PM is very anxious about it. It was the subject of his first address to the nation after he was re-elected. Are you as concerned about us as he is? Or do you follow the example of the CM of a major state who diverted a number of water tankers to serve his home while his voters thirsted for weeks?
If you are really worried about those who voted you into power, then here are a few things you can do:-
1. Get the Jumna Water Project for Mussoorie started immediately. The Congress government spent a lot of money supposedly doing a survey of the feasibility of the project. But nothing happened after that. The BJP sarkar, apparently, has also spent money doing another survey. There is still no sign of the Project starting. And you know what voters think of expensive, ineffective, surveys! Without water from this project, Mussoorie will shrivel and dry. Are you not concerned about us?
2. Mussoorie gets its water from rain and snow fed springs situated deep in our valleys. From there it is pumped up to reservoirs high above our town. It then flows out of our reservoirs to quench our thirst and keep our town clean. Most of the reservoirs were built by the British, and the original pipelines were laid down by them. We live in a limestone area which is prone to land subsidence, erosion and seismic tremors. Pipes laid on such limestone slopes can buckle and leak, the under-water bases of these reservoirs can crack. Because of these likely losses en route, the Jal Sansthan does not know exactly how much water is being consumed in Mussoorie. If it installed bulk meters at the intake and outflow of ever reservoir, it would know. The Jal Sansthan/ Jal Nigam claims that that is too expensive. Really? But if they don’t have these figures, then how can they conserve water as the Prime Minister wants everyone to do? Or are they telling the public that they couldn’t care less about anyone’s opinion?
3. Before the MDDA sanctions the construction of a new building, or major additions to an existing one, it asks the Jal Sansthan if its water resources can take this additional load. But in spite of officially stating that it does not have enough water to meet Mussoorie’s current needs, the Jal Sansthan officials claim, with brazen absurdity, that they do not have the authority to deny a new water connection! Before the pani babus have the effrontery to contradict this accusation they should remember that their officials stated this to a Committee set up by the highest judicial authority in India. Isn’t it time that you, the MLAs, who we the people have elected, intervened to change this evasive behaviour of the Jal Sansthan?
4. You MLAs, as the protectors of our interests, are entitled to tour our state. In fact, you are expected to do so. Have you, dear netas, noticed the high-rise after high-rise blocks of apparently elegant flats on the Kothal Gate – Rajpur bypass? Many of them seem to be unoccupied, but who permitted them to be built in the first place? Or are the so-called ‘developers’ waiting for the right neta to bend the rules a little and then flee with his ‘rent’ to London? Can you, as our dedicated and very hard-working MLAs, stop these flats from being occupied by more water-guzzling occupants?
That’s enough for the moment. We, the Government, will get back to you when you have solved some of our water problems which have caught the Prime Minister’s attention.
With our regards,
Hugh & Colleen Gantzer