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From 50 Years Ago: Wasteful Civil Defence

Capital View by Romesh Thapar from Volume XIV, Nos 51 & 52, December 22, 1962.

...In the Capital, elaborate plans are being worked out for air-raid precautions. Trenches are being dug. Black-out drills are planned. There is an uncomfortable feeling in the air that much of this activity in the present situation is designed to provide jobs for contractors. Plans need to be drawn up, but their implementation could be thought out more sensibly. We are about to lose a great deal of money in futile projects enthusiastically sponsored by amateurs. This must be true not only of the Capital, but of many other cities. The National Defence Council and the Citizens’ Council, which have been in session this week, need to intervene in this kind of racketeering which puts money into the pockets of contractors. At many levels voluntary work would yield better results – and at hardly any cost.

Tailpiece: Some idea of the degree of austerity envisaged for the ruling elite can be had from the announcement that in future Ministers’ free electricity expenditure will not go beyond a monthly Rs 250…

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