And the land goes to . . !


BRIDGES can’t be finished, because they can’t get back the land from squatters, and even railways can’t expand to more tracks, because hutments have taken over railway land even as the authorities argue, whose fault it is:

The senior official from the state government and the senior officer from the railways, stood on either side of the railway tracks arguing, debating and throwing harsh words at each other.

“You are supposed to clear the hutments from along the tracks,” said the railway official. “It is your land not ours,” said the state officer. “But it is your fault.” “It is not ours, it is yours.” “It’s yours.” “No it’s yours.” A few meters away a man walked with bamboos and tin sheets and stood on the middle of the tracks. “Pass the hammer,” he shouted to his son. The boy passed the hammer to his father, who drove a stake into the middle of the railway tracks.

“It’s your fault,” shouted the railway official, “if you had put a stop to the influx of people, they wouldn’t have settled on our land.” “If you had looked after your land more vigilantly, you would not have had people settling there,” said his counterpart in the government.

“It’s your fault.” “No, it’s yours.” The man with the bamboos lifted the tin sheet and placed it on top of the four poles he had hammered in between the sleepers on the tracks. “Fill some mud between the sleepers,” he told his son, we want a level flooring to sleep on.” “We will settle it in court,” shouted the state government official.

“We’ll go to the supreme court,” said the railway officer. “It’s your fault.” “It’s yours.” “No it’s yours.” The wife of the man who had just built his home on the tracks, laid her baby down on the freshly laid floor. She mounted her stove on one of the rail tracks and started pumping it furiously. “Readymade kitchen platform,” said the man to his wife proudly. He watched his three children running round the little hut with glee. Outside a super fast local, came to a grinding half, a few feet away from the hut. “We can’t go further,” said the motorman. “They’ve taken over the tracks,” said his assistant.

They watched as hundreds of other families started building their huts on the tracks. “No more trains on this line,” said the motorman, as he got down from his motorman’s cabin and walked back to the station. He passed the two officials as they argued with each other on either side of the railway tracks. “It’s your fault.” “No it’s yours..”


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