Elections reveal true picture of public infrastructure


BY | Friday, 26 April, 2024

All across the world, wherever elections are held, politicians make obligatory claims of what they had achieved in their tenures and what they will do if the people elect them to power. It is no different in Nagaland. Just 48 hours after they are compelled by the election authority to stop beating the drums, the rosy picture that they had been painting to the public is replaced by reality.

Last week, soon after the polling personnel were dispatched to their stations, videos and photos went viral, exposing the sorry state of the roads in the far flung areas of our State. We watch them pulling or pushing the vehicles and have a laugh, feel a little shame and forget about it.

Many commended the dedication of these personnel who have overcome tremendous barriers to save democracy in the country and no doubt their actions deserve applause. However, the point is that it was unfair for them to have gone through the trouble travelling on such roads, it is unfair for anybody to travel in such roads.

Later, when the personnel reached their polling stations, they find that there are no amenities. While a video showed open toilet and wash area, another showed polling station in what looked like an abandoned shed in a field with holes on the roof. There is all the possibility that there existed polling stations where the conditions were even worse than those shared on social media.

It is also important to point out that there are several impressive public buildings in the State and several well maintained schools that were used for the recent election on 19th April.

It is also very likely that the poor infrastructure highlighted is not limited only to our State. However, we cannot use it as a reason to brush off the issues like we are used to. Citizens ought to keep questioning why we are denied of good roads which is our right because every day, with or without our knowledge, we pay the government for not just roads but public buildings and facilities.

When we go to vote every election in run down schools and office buildings, we believe that public infrastructure is supposed to be such and that it is natural for children whose parents cannot afford to send them to private schools to sit in classrooms with holes on the walls and roof. Anything better will not qualify as belonging to the public.

There is not much to say to defend the roads but it is fair to note that not all public buildings are in dire condition but how many people would still dare to use its facilities such as toilets or ask if that building has running water.

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