Man-made tragedy

When an under-construction flyover collapsed in Kolkata on Thursday, the inevitable happened—the blame game began in the poll-bound state before rescue operations had even started


Firefighters and rescue workers search for victims at the site of an under-construction flyover after it collapsed in Kolkata. Photo: Reuters
Firefighters and rescue workers search for victims at the site of an under-construction flyover after it collapsed in Kolkata. Photo: Reuters

When a flyover under construction collapsed in North Kolkata on Thursday—taking with it a few lives and leaving many trapped under the debris—the inevitable happened. The blame game began in the poll-bound state before rescue operations had even started. But inordinate delays in construction of infrastructure and its poor quality are not limited to Kolkata.

A number of infrastructure projects run behind schedule, overshooting estimated costs in most parts of India. There is also blatant corruption at all levels—political, bureaucratic and operational. Thus, basic safety and quality norms to be followed at construction sites inevitably become the last priority for everyone concerned. Little wonder that the quality of the finished infrastructure is often substandard. Bricks, mortar, iron and steel are not the only ingredients in the mix. It requires sound institutions for the rest—safety, quality and efficiency.