Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Heavy Lifter & Big Digger!

I've always been fascinated with machines, and the bigger they are the more fascinating. So you can well imagine how excited I am to see all this Construction Work going on in various parts of the City. Cranes, Excavators and all sorts of equipment working away to take us into the future.

I just couldn't resist looking out of the window at my Dad's place and seeing this huge Crane which had just lifted this entire Steel Pillar into place. Had I been got there a bit earlier, I could have witnessed it being hoisted into position.

The Excavators, having done their bit earlier in the build, some time last year digging earth out for the pilings, are now relegated to moving earth back around the big holes, filling them up and flattening the surface.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Today's Pain, Tomorrow's Gain! The Unsung Heroes Behind this Sign.

“Today’s Pain, Tomorrow’s Gain”I'm sure a lot of us have been, are and will be way into the future, witnesses of this common sign in various parts of the city. As a Metropolis, change and development are constant. While we only look at the inconveniences caused by this constant development, we pay little attention to the real people who sweat through soaring temperatures, get drenched in pouring rain and shiver through winter nights striving to make our cities better to live in; “The Labourer”

I could make this a discourse about how corrupt officials make money and squatters delay projects and the government is a silent bystander while citizens pay the price, but today I'm going to address these great people, the unsung heroes of “DEVELOPMENT”

This Flyover that has been in the making for the past few years and has been plagued with scandal of corruption, land acquisition problems and a debt riddled Government trying to keep this vital project on course.  In recent months though, having missed several completion deadlines, the work on this Flyover Project has picked up a pace that could put some of our super-fast trains to shame.

As I visit my family home every week in Park Circus and remember the boulevard lined with trees back in the days, I'm overwhelmed by this ghastly sight of mud, concrete and steel. It’s growing like a fungus and yet somewhere deep inside it also gives me joy. Looking out of the balcony on the 4th floor, I can see the girders of the carriageway now having reached our building. The pace seems to be a Section a week. It’s a great pastime to watch the behemoth sections of steel being hoisted and the construction workers like little worker ants going about their business at heights of 40 feet off the ground, tightening bolts, welding steel et all.

Frightening as it may be, these workers move with such nonchalance from one beam to another. I'm glad though that protection and safety have come a long way since my childhood and it’s a relief to see them with their helmets and safety harnesses at all times while making some death defying movements on those Steel Girders.

I noticed that most of the labour on the project seemed to be from Punjab and other parts of the country and believe, that is one of the reasons for such great performance in the completion of this project; no “cha” and “adda” happening on this Flyover Project.

Wanting a better look at things, I went up to the terrace and got a much wider and holistic perspective of how this was coming together and thought I’d document some of the progress.

So while potholes and apathy and money laundering scams plague our city, all is not lost, “The Unsung Heroes” are doing their bit for us, even though it’s not their city.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Eyewash on Development by the Government

I’m not really sure whether this Road comes under the jurisdiction of the KMC (Kolkata Municipal Corporation) or the PWD (Public Works Department), but I'm sure it is the responsibility and a reflection of the shoddy work being commissioned by the incumbent State Government.

This rant is not to blame anyone, but to do my duty as a citizen and bring to the notice of the concerned departments that taxpayers money is just being washed away by such negligent work.

I'm sure all the residents of Calcutta Greens, Udita, Udayan and the surrounding areas including shop owners and visitors alike must have been pleased to see that this 350 metre stretch of road from Ajoy Nagar upto Calcutta Greens had been repaired a little over two weeks ago. In fact the relaying had been all the way up to Hiland Park. 

My point being that prior to this repair work, for nearly 5 years the stretch had become a dirt track and developed potholes large enough to swallow a small car. So we were definitely pleased to see such prompt repair work being swung into action immediately after the Local Municipal Elections. Our Councillor must have put in some strong words.

Well not strong enough it seems, because the road lasted all of one week. That must be a record of sorts. I'm no engineer or road architect, but I'm sure that roads are meant to last significantly longer than the glorious one week of smooth sailing that we experienced.

I'm not evening going to bring up the issue of the illegal shops that have sprung up in even larger numbers after last years attempt to clear them. They had been removed for about a week or so, and they came back in larger numbers, bigger and better.

So this is my little contribution to bring this to the notice of all concerned and hope that this one little voice can make a difference.

This is how our cars are looking at this dreadful road and telling the tyres and suspension to brace themselves for a nice bumpy ride.

Didi, I hope you’re listening, if not for our sake, atleast for our poor cars.