“A stitch in time saves nine” is an old proverb that we have been memorizing all our lives; we have also been teaching the wise meaning of this proverb to our children.
Years ago, when I first heard that the BGMEA building in the heart of Hatirjheel was illegally built, I couldn’t believe it. How could a building like that be illegally built? What were our officials doing when the building was being built?
As far as I know, our ministry had allocated the land, the city development authority had approved the plan, and then the BGMEA had built it with its own money. We also saw one of our prime ministers lay the foundation; we also saw another one of our prime ministers inaugurating it when it was built.
Then, after a few years, we suddenly realized that the entire process didn’t follow the law. What were all these authorities doing at that time?
Didn’t it occur to any one of them that the land or the building might be illegal? However, it was good to see that the BGMEA was in the process of relocating to a new venue.
But everybody isn’t as lucky as BGMEA. There are thousands of people, apartment buyers, who have been cheated by the developers, as the developer erected buildings illegally and sold them to potential buyers.
The developers have done this in front of the very eyes of the city development authority — when the development is complete, the city authorities come running to buyers to evict them from those apartments.
But they don’t do anything to the developers who cheated the consumers. Where’s the might of the city authorities then?
Who is going to look after the victims who have been disgracefully cheated by the developing companies? What would be the remedial measures for their miseries?
Let me cite another example. A recent report said we are burning gas worth Tk332 crore in order to boil our drinking water. According to the report, about 91% of people boil their water, as they think the Wasa water is not safe for drinking.
This information was disclosed by TIB recently. The TIB chief said people in other Asian countries don’t have to boil their water to drink.
Now, that’s not a sustainable way to use our resources. If Wasa is purifying the water we drink, it might as well do it properly. If we need to re-purify the water they purify, then what Wasa is doing is completely pointless.
I remember a few year ago when the Moghbazar flyover was being built. After almost completing the structure, we discovered that the flyover was wrongly built to have left-hand drive roads on them.
What a joke! None of the engineers and technicians had noticed that that road was being built wrongly.
No wonder we see many bridge-structures built across the country over various canals and rivers with no roads on both sides.
If we consider the Nusrat case, for example, it’s only after the girl’s miserable and painful death that we seem to have woken up.
We, however, remain silent or oblivious about the millions of Nusrats who have been suffering the pains of sexual abuse across the country.
We have miserably failed to ensure a safe living environment for our women.
We never felt that prevention could be better than cure.
It has been observed a million times that we don’t act upon an impending problem or disaster in time. Somehow, we like to address the problem only after the problem arises, and becomes big, when there isn’t any other solution.
Examples of callousness are infested in our everyday life in such a way that most of the time we fail to see problems coming.
First published in Dhaka Tribune.
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