Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bandra-Worli Sea Link or Rajiv Gandhi Setu

Bandra- Worli Sea Link had been mired in controversy since the word go. BJP MLA Nitin Gadkari had proposed it in the late 1990's and was opposed by environmentalists and fisherfolk equally for the viabilities of this bridge. Ever since its conception, it was imagined to be a wonder creation, which would become a landmark for Mumbai.

The day of its inauguration dawned and it did become a great engineering marvel unvieled for commuters, who could cut short their trip by a good 40 - 45 minutes and skip over a couple of dozen traffic lights. The hype around the bridge was justified in this sense. The construction of the bridge too involved a meticulous approach with engineering teams from a host of countries contributing to it. The amount of steel involved in the construction is supposedly equal to the circumference of earth.

The following are some of the features of the bridge:
•Sea link length- 5.6-km, 3.8 km over the sea
•Cement used- 90,000 tons
•Save Rs 100 crore a year in vehicle operating costs

No surprise when UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was inauguarating the bridge. An infrastructure milestone for our country like this, should have been dedicated to the country by some official of the Indian Government, the Prime Minister or the President of the country? Oh, the UPA Chairperson is more powerful than them. OK...

Although the bridge was delayed a good 4 years and the cost escalated to Rs. 1634 crores from Rs. 350 crores, I was feeling a sense of pride on looking at the images of the bridge. It is after all, the first over-the-sea bridge in India.

As an anti-climax to the event, the sense of pride gave way to a sense of disgust by the evening of the inauguration when it was announced that the Sea-link would be named as Rajiv Gandhi Setu.

OMG! Union Minister Sharad Pawar, whose NCP sees existential problems and who wants to make a comeback to the Congress, proposed this idea during the inauguration and it was picked up by Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan. So the name of the bridge is being sacrificed at the altar for helping Sharad Pawar to rejoin Congress. The opposition jeered at it and Shiv Sena wanted to name the bridge as Veer Savarkar Setu or something else. Fair enough!

But haven't we got enough of this Gandhi surname in India? Institutions and roads named after the"Gandhi" family?

Shakespeare did say "Whats in a name?" and he did put his and only his name under that very statement, but may be if he sees the dizzying, ever growing list of Gandhi-parivar dedicated projects, then he might think over his statement. After all the name 'Gandhi' carries a lot of weight for sycophants.

Following is the list of some of the Government schemes and projects named after three members of the Nehru Gandhi family, Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, which has been submitted to the Election Commission by the eminent journalist A.Surya Prakash as an Annexure to his complaint.
This list includes most of the projects, schemes and institutions funded by the Union Government and the Governments in the States. Although, I do not expect anyone to go through the whole list.

1 Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana;
2 Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission;
3 Rajiv Gandhi National Crèche Scheme for the Children of Working Mothers, Department of Women & Child Development;
4. Rajiv Gandhi Udyami Mitra Yojana;
5 Indira Awas Yojana
6 Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme;
7 Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission
8 Jawaharlal Nehru Rojgar Yojna
9.Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojna;
10 Indira Gandhi Canal Project, Funded by World Bank
11.Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Bima Yojana
State schemes:
1 Rajiv Gandhi Rehabilitation Package for Tsunami Affected Areas,
2.Rajiv Gandhi Social Security Scheme, Govt. of Puducherry
3.Rajiv Ratna Awas Yojna;
4 Rajiv Gandhi Prathamik Shiksha Mission, Raigarh;
5 Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission, Madhya Pradesh;
6 Rajiv Gandhi Mission on Food Security , Madhya Pradesh;
7. Rajiv Gandhi Mission on Community Health, Madhya Pradesh;
8 Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corp.;
9 Rajiv Gandhi Tourism Development Mission, Rajasthan;
10 Rajiv Gandhi Computer Literacy Programme, Assam
11 Rajiv Gandhi Swavlamban Rojgar Yojana, Govt. of NCT of Delhi
12.Rajiv Gandhi Mobile Aids Counseling and Testing Services, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
13.Rajiv Gandhi Vidyarthi Suraksha Yojana, Maharashtra;
14 Rajiv Gandhi Mission for Water Shed Management, M.P.;
15Rajiv Gandhi Food Security Mission for Tribal Areas, MP
16.Rajiv Gandhi Home for Handicapped, Pondicherry;
17 Rajiv Gandhi Breakfast Scheme, Pondicherry;
18 Rajiv Gandhi Akshay Urja Divas, Punjab;
19 Rajiv Gandhi Artisans Health & Life Insurance Scheme, Tamil Nadu;
20 Rajiv Gandhi Zopadpatti and Nivara Prakalpa, Mumbai;
21 Rajiv Arogya Sri programme, Gujrat State Govt. Scheme;
22 Rajiv Gandhi Abhyudaya Yojana, AP;
23 Rajiv Gandhi Computer Saksharta Mission, Jabalpur
24 Rajiv Gandhi Bridges and Roads Infrastructure Development Programme;
25 Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Niwara Prakalp, Maharashtra Govt
26Indira Gandhi Utkrishtha Chhattervritti Yojna , HP;
27 Indira Gandhi Women Protection Scheme, Maharashtra Gov;
28.Indira Gandhi Prathisthan, Housing and Urban Planning Department, UP
29.Indira Kranthi Patham Scheme, Andhra Pradesh ;
30Indira Gandhi Nahar Pariyojana, State Govt. Scheme;
31 Indira Gandhi Vruddha Bhumiheen Shetmajoor Anudan Yojana, Maharashtra
32.Indira Gandhi Nahar Project, Jaisalmer, Govt. of Rajasthan
33.Indira Gandhi Niradhar Yojna, Govt. of Maharashtra;
34 Indira Gandhi kuppam, State Govt. Welfare Scheme for Tsunami effected fishermen;
35 Indira Gandhi Drinking Water Scheme-2006, Haryana Govt.
36.Indira Gandhi Niradhar Old, Landless, Destitute women farm labour Scheme, Maharashtra Govt.
37.Indira Gandhi Women Protection Scheme , Maharashtra Govt.
38.Indira Gaon Ganga Yojana, Chattisgarh;
39 Indira Sahara Yojana , Chattisgarh;
40 Indira Soochna Shakti Yojana, Chattisgarh;
41 Indira Gandhi Balika Suraksha Yojana , HP;
42 Indira Gandhi Garibi Hatao Yojana (DPIP), MP;
43 Indira Gandhi super thermal power project , Haryana Govt.
44 Indira Gandhi Water Project, Haryana Govt.
45.Indira Gandhi Sagar Project, Bhandara District Gosikhurd Maharashtra;
46 Indira Jeevitha Bima Pathakam, AP Govt;
47 Indira Gandhi Priyadarshani Vivah Shagun Yojana, Haryana Govt;
48 Indira Mahila Yojana Scheme, Meghalaya Govt
49.Indira Gandhi Calf Rearing Scheme, Chhattisgarh Govt.
50.Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Vivah Shagun Yojana, Haryana Govt.
51.Indira Gandhi Calf Rearing Scheme;
52 Indira Gandhi Landless Agriculture Labour scheme, Maharashtra Govt.

Phew! Please forgive me, for my inability to do justice to all the the other remaining thousand names of roads, ports, parks, etc; that have been left out. But, please do help me to understand the justification of 'Shri Rajivji's' contribution towards the infrastructure program in Mumbai during his rule(governance?). Readers interested to know a more detailed list of the names of a few other projects/institutions/roads/parks/awards/etc; upon the trio's name should log on to

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