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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Bihar bureaucrats meet their ‘water-loo’

The Bihar bureaucracy is fighting the problem of the bladder! And, it’s losing the fight.

patna Updated: Jan 11, 2012 22:36 IST
Ruchir Kumar
Ruchir Kumar
Hindustan Times

The Bihar bureaucracy is fighting the problem of the bladder! And, it’s losing the fight.

With chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Sewa Yatras striking out to the farthest districts and the state’s interiors, the bureaucracy, forced to chase the paperwork, is finding the travel time ‘too vexatious’.

For visits to places like Purnia and West Champaran or Aurangabad takes time. And full bladders can lead to ‘big embarrassments’.

A top one who is mandated ‘to be everywhere’ has this to relate:

“Imagine stopping a beacon-fitted vehicle on the road — night or day — and taking time to pee off the road. Such a forced digression is traumatic with the public around.”

Pee problem is indeed turning out to be a curse and many of the smarter alecs are “not carrying” mineral water bottles, since their presence may force them to drink. And then, stopping the car to unwind is the only option.

While mineral water budgets are down, the bone chilling winds and the uneven roads do not spare. While the weather increases the urge, a bad spring coil or a full vehicle tyre could cause the vehicle to bounce. And then, there is no respite.

The district administrations have not been too mindful of this problem. Despite the bureaucratic direction that each venue the chief minister is likely to visit should have covered pee-holes stationed just behind the dais, many just do not have it, as the CM picks his venue randomly!

Wherever they exist, the bureaucrats are forced to queue up in the hierarchical order. It’s the bada bada saheb demands right of way, the junior writhes and curses, ‘but it has to wait.’

The trauma turns complete when an MP or a minister, who minds the area, is around with MLAs. They most often take precedence.

Guest house and circuit house caretakers chuckle and smile.

“It was quite a scene. Babu sahebs, virtually in haste, queuing up in rooms, one after another, till all loos are occupied, is indeed a rare sight. The helplessness is writ large over their face.”

The police brass fares no better. The SP in a lead car, clearing the way can hardly stop or even the officials following behind. “How can one open up with PSOs, orderlies, other officials around you?” quipped one.

But that's still better than countless babus queuing up on the road en route to a chief minister’s rally point — the beacon-fitted cars, making the vacant miles between two points reverberate with sirens.

What took the cake was the last comment from one of the seniormost babus.

“I thought the particular highway space was empty and no passenger vehicles were in sight for miles on end, either way. But lo. As soon as the zip came down, down came three beacon-fitted Ambassadors and an escort party. They seemed to fly past, but screeched to a stop upon espying my car. They rolled back and one stepped out asking loudly, “Kya hua, Sir?”

Anyone for the roadside loo?

First Published: Jan 11, 2012 22:34 IST

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