SUFFERING FROM INCOMPLETE PLANNING
action has an equal and opposite reaction is a well-know law
in classical mechanics. It is used by physicists and engineers
to design space rockets as well by the 100-metre sprinters.
The ill-informed erroneously postulate that it also is the
definition of karma. Karma has to do with actions, consequences
and accountability. It transcends classical mechanics, space
and time and hence plays a greater role at both the individual
and collective levels.
Even if the narrow-minded may not want to acknowledge the
applicability and practicality of karma, they would be hard-pressed
to not acknowledge the concepts of consequences and accountability,
unless their politics subverts their sense of logic and civic-mindedness.
The closing of Caroni (1975) Ltd was based primarily, one
presumes, on economic considerations. There may be disagreement
on whether this should have been the case. However, there
can be no disagreement on the almost complete lack of planning
for the consequences of the closure beyond the measures put
in place (and yet to be fully implemented) for the social
and employment issues that arose because of the termination
of the employment of the workers.
On this note it would be interesting and of critical concern
to everyone in the nation as to the effect of the termination
of the aerial spraying of the large acreages of sugar cane
fields, particularly on the mosquito population.
It would be untrue to say that we did not have the occasional
outbreaks of dengue before and that public officialdom did
not endeavour to put a less-than-objective slant on it. It
would be in line with the objective and factual reality to
say that this time the PR doosra and chinaman delivered by
the spin doctors would have embarrassed both Murlitharan and
Mendis, singly and conjointly, for their (the spin doctors,
not the spin bowlers) sheer lack of subtlety.
Indeed, if a skit were to be made of the episode it would
be aptly named The disacknowledgement of D Eng Ue
The story line in precise format would about the time D Eng
Ue came to Tee and Tee in full force. But the See Emm Oh refused
to see him and worse yet refused to acknowledge him. Said
the great one: you are not D Eng Ue. You are SC Ickle!
Naturally some portions of the population began saying, yeh
is true! Nobody prove it is really D Eng Ue. It may appear
to be him but we need more blood work and more tests! Never
mind a distraught family was being traumatised by the loss
of their child! Of course while such public discourses were
being aired, the mosquitoes were buzzingly controlling
and patrolling the airspace.
So what is the logical consequence of the above? Maybe the
next time you show your passport or national ID Card or DP
you could be told: you look like you, you appear to be you
but some detailed tests would have to be done, including verifying
your DNA. In the meanwhile while the tests are being done
you are going to be quarantined.
The above issue is really symptomatic of a larger ill that
trips up our progress as a nation and a country: that of the
need for detailed national planning. Visionaries are needed
but they cannot really effect positive change unless there
is detailed planning for the implementation of the grand visions.
To give a practical example. Architects may have the grandest
designs but they would not be worth much if there are not
the engineers to translate their ideas into strong and safe
structures. Indeed, the famous bird nest stadium
of Beijing, in which the last Olympic Games were held, is
probably more of a structural wonder that an architectural
Planning would be most incomplete if only the expected outcomes
of the actions are considered. There must be the experience,
the foresight and the responsibility to also anticipate the
Of course one cannot be expected to know everything but if
one were to do simple analyses of the consequences of initiating
new processes and the termination of old ones, then many if
not most of the consequences could be anticipated and their
fallouts mitigated. The evidence is that no such practice,
at least in any significant way over the many public ventures,
is the norm or culture here.
Many of the problems that we face on a daily basis, as ordinary
citizens, could be solved or mitigated if simple planning
and execution procedures were put in place. Take a simple
one and one of my pet peeves.
Traffic swinging right from the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway
onto Aranguez Road is always blocked because of traffic entering
Aranguez Road from Nanan Trace, a hundred feet or so from
the junction. The effect of this is that traffic flow from
the highway to Aranguez Road is blocked every single day with
the continuous problem of being stuck in the middle of the
east-bound lane of the highway when that light turns green.
A most dangerous situation that can be easily solved by making
Nanan Trace a one-way street.
Similar simple measures would mitigate the traffic at many
if not most junctions of the highways.
All it takes is some caring and simple planning and implementation.
n Prof Prakash Persad is the director of Swaha Inc
Prof Prakash Persad is the director of Swaha Inc