Forgettable Olympics

Thanks to power woes facing the State this summer, it has been a truly forgettable Olympics, these London 2012 Games, well not for the sportspersons taking part in it but for viewers back home especially in Dimapur. Well actually there has been not much of viewing what with the electricity getting literally knocked out from the early part of the Games itself. Surely our Power Department has been ill prepared. 

And if we were to have our own little Olympics of the government departments, both the light and road department would have been disqualified. What can we do about it na? Well all of us are helpless and we should sympathize with the Power Department because they do not have any spare transformer to replace the old cranky one, which has finally passed away! The transformer has served us well for over a few decades and it would have been expected that its time was nearing. We can only say Rest in Peace. Well now the question is should the Power Department have atleast spare transformers ready when such tragedies happen? Now we are told that the department has placed order for a 100 MVA transformer from Mumbai. 

The question is when will this arrive and how long will it take to restore electricity to its normalcy for Dimapur area? The stop gag arrangement of bringing smaller transformer from faraway Mokokchung and Kiphire district is stuck because of “wheel problems” of the only transportation trailer available for Nagaland. Then off course we are now told that even the 100 MVA transformer will cost between Rs 15-17 crores, sanction for which has still not come through. Going by the rate, perhaps a Naga political settlement could come before the transformer is delivered to our Power Department! And then there is no guarantee that the transformers being brought down from Mokokchung and Kiphire will function and not go kaput. If the worse happens, then we are looking at a bleak autumn and winter months ahead of us i.e. especially for those in the commercial hub of Dimapur. 

It is clear that the Power Department is in need of a serious revamp and streamlining. Otherwise the public of Nagaland may have to continue missing out on the next Olympics four years from now to be held in the Brazilian city of Rio. But actually this could be a wakeup call and perhaps an opportunity for our government establishment to draw up a Vision Plan to ensure a better Olympics in four years time. It will be foolhardy to expect an overnight miracle in our power scenario or even in the concern department given the sheer neglect in the last few decades. 

But if the government and our politicians do not start to deliver better services, the growing frustration and restlessness, which is beginning to manifest itself in different form, is going to explode into something on a larger scale. In the last few years we are witnessing the outpouring of public grievances into the streets leading to all kinds of revolutionary changes taking place. Our present system of politics and government must not remain ignorant to the fast moving trends taking place. 

Time is running out and they should wake up from the present state of complacency if they want to avoid a people’s uprising. While this column comes out into publication on Monday morning, the London Olympics 2012 would have come to a close. We may have missed the dazzle and lights of the London Games because of the constant power cuts. But as the Olympic motto of Citius, Altius, Fortius goes to express, the Morung Express hopes that when the 2016 Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil comes, we will live up to be “Faster, Higher, Stronger” in our resolve to be a better people and our government worthy of the high calling towards public service.